Ripon College to adopt campus dog – “April Fool’s!”

Animal lovers can rejoice as President Zach Messitte today announced a new addition to the Ripon College family beginning this fall.

Messitte announced that an underground, invisible fence will be installed around the perimeter of the upper campus this summer and that when students return in August, there will be a new four-legged friend running around.

“We have had such a success with pets coming to our ‘Paws and Relax’ events each semester, that I thought it was time to create a Paws and Relax-type atmosphere on campus every day,” said Messitte.

Paws and Relax is a program sponsored by the College’s Counseling Services office in which faculty and staff bring their dogs to campus to interact with students as a stress reliever during final exams.

Messitte said several students have expressed interest in a pet-friendly floor in one of the College residence halls. Current College policy prohibits pets, other than fish, in all housing on campus.

“This year alone, I received an overwhelming number of theme-floor applications. A majority of those were requests for pet-friendly living groups,” said Jessica Joanis, director of residence life.

Joanis said it would be difficult to decide who could live on such a floor because she suspects it would become an extremely popular living area. Nevertheless, Joanis wanted to find a way to still have some furry friends around, so she took her concerns to Messitte.

Messitte decided he was going to try something new: Adopt a dog for campus.

The plan is for the campus dog to be on upper campus during the day so that it may run around and visit with all of the Ripon students. Messitte will take the dog to his home to eat and sleep during evenings and weekends. Messitte said he and his family will visit local dog shelters this summer to find the perfect companion for campus. A naming contest will be announced later this year.

Regarding what breed of dog Messitte is planning to obtain, he said he’s not sure yet, but promises, “It will be cute.”

Lauren Hints ’18
Blaine, Minnesota


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