Having An ESA In College

September 10, 2020

If a student at WKU has to go into quarantine or isolation because of COVID-19, emotional support animals will not be allowed to stay with their owners.

According to Bob Skipper, WKU director of media relations, ESAs have an emergency contact with whom the pet will stay with if their owner gets sick.

Jalissa Novotney, a senior anthropology major from Chicago, has an ESA and said that the idea of having to be without it for two weeks is a little frightening.

“If I get sick, my aunt in Tennessee will come get Hazel and take care of her until I’m able to come get pick her up,” Novotney said. Novotney came to campus in 2017 and dealt with homesickness and depression.

“I saw all these animals on campus and was like mom, maybe I should do this with my anxiety and depression,” Novotney said.

Novotney said she spoke with her physician who wrote a letter and coordinated with the Student Accessibility Resource Office in DSU who approved her request for an ESA in around two weeks.

Novotney found her ESA when volunteering at the animal shelter for one of her organizations.  “When I first saw Hazel Grace, I immediately fell in love with her,” Novotney said. “Her background is also sad. Her previous owner just didn’t want her. She was very scared and timid and wouldn’t come near me. It was a lot about building trust, and I think me also trusting her.” According to Novotney, who’s also a resident assistant, ESA’s are supposed to be in the dorms at all times, unless they’re on a walk or at the dog park.

While she’s a little frightened at the idea of not having Hazel for two weeks, she also says she understands the possibility that she can’t take care of her in quarantine and thinks she would be better off with her aunt in Tennessee for that time.

This is consistent with WKU’s policy regarding sick residents and emotional support animals.

  • Most Recent News

    Big Dogs Need Owners

    October 9, 2020

    When the shutdown orders took full effect, it became nearly impossible to find a small dog available for adoption as Southlanders sought furry companions. In many Southland shelters, only larger breeds remained available for adoption. Now Los Angeles Animal Service is touting the joys of big dogs while offering discounted adoption fees for larger breeds […]

    Read more

    Service Dog Walkathon

    October 9, 2020

    On Saturday, October 3, hundreds of walkers from across 15 states joined the path to bettering the world for children with autism and their families as part of BluePath Service Dogs’ fourth annual walkathon. The family-friendly fundraiser – this year held virtually – raised more than $120,000 to further BluePath’s mission of providing autism service […]

    Read more

    Service Dog In The Marching Band

    October 9, 2020

    In a year that is anything but normal, the Jones College Maroon Typhoon Marching Band has welcomed its first known service dog member this fall. Laurie, a 3-year-old golden retriever, is baritone saxophone player Sara-Beth McKellar’s service dog. The Vicksburg native was diagnosed with epilepsy as a sophomore in high school after her first seizure. […]

    Read more

    Church Blesses Animals

    October 9, 2020

    St. Mary’s Church of the Immaculate Conception in Port Jervis hosted a special outdoor service last Sunday afternoon to bless the community’s pets, animals and other living creatures. In keeping with current pandemic rules, pet owners wore masks, remained distant, and took part in praying for dogs, cats, turtles, and other pets and animals around […]

    Read more

    Police Welcomes New Canine

    October 9, 2020

    Young Kingston Police service dog Bask may look small, but his handler says his training and energy are proving that he’s up to fill the shoes of his predecessor. “I think he’s going to be a great little dog,” Const. Jeff Dickson said, looking down at his new partner. A partner that, wearing the right […]

    Read more

    Dog Park For Travelers

    October 9, 2020

    St. Petersburg is widely recognized as a dog-friendly city, and St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport is making sure its four-legged visitors and their humans feel welcome by rolling out the artificial turf carpet. With the completion of the airport’s parking and roadway project – part of a series of multi-million dollar improvements at the airport over the […]

    Read more

    Service Dog Helps Firefighters

    October 9, 2020

    Firefighters battling the Archie Creek and Thielsen fires have had some long, exhausting days. But for some, their troubles seemed to melt away once they got back to camp. Why? Meet Ralph Colombo. He hauls oversize loads. And joining Ralph is his service dog, Cowboy – the morale boosting, firefighting puppy. “He just keeps my […]

    Read more

    Pet Therapy Program

    October 9, 2020

    Saturday, October 10 is World Mental Health Day, which this year has a new sense of urgency for many. Covid-19 has taken a mental and emotional toll on healthcare workers across the U.S but there is a program boosting the spirits of doctors and nurses on the frontlines. At UC Irvine Medical Center in Southern […]

    Read more

    A Service Dogs Place

    October 9, 2020

    A new Pineville nonprofit that helps people with disabilities obtain service dogs has made its first match. The Saber Life Foundation was started in March by Danea Key and her husband Joel. They provide people with trained service dogs, paying 51 percent of the cost, with the client paying the other 49 percent. Service dogs […]

    Read more

    Dog Beating Cancer

    October 9, 2020

    A little over a year after a local dog was given only a few months to live after being diagnosed with bone cancer, she is still in remission and will be celebrated her twelfth birthday this month. Cocoa has been with her owner, Bucyrus resident Christie Auck, since she was nine-weeks-old. “On Aug. 18, 2019, […]

    Read more

    More Recent News