Photos: The Emotional Support Animals of Albion College

Erika Dombrowski, Grand Rapids senior, owns a white rabbit named Stella who’s almost six years old. “I have her because I have an issue with living on my own, but I can’t live with other people, it’s just an anxiety thing,” Dombrowski said (Photo by Naomi Cloostermans).

There are more than just humans in residential buildings across campus. Many Albion students have emotional support animals to help them get through the day. Albion College may not allow traditional pets in residences on campus, but they do let students to have emotional support animals. 

From chinchillas to rabbits to cats, Albion students have helpful furry friends of all kinds.

Ella Farwell, Hartland first-year, has a seven-year-old black cat named Jester. Farwell said that Jester’s a cuddle bug who knows when she or her roommate are in an awful mood. “He’ll kind of snuggle up on you and he’ll make biscuits and he’ll purr” said Farwell (Photo by Naomi Cloostermans).
Sydney Rhodes, Wooster, Ohio senior, has a German shepherd named Bear. “He helps me make Albion a home away from home” she said (Photo courtesy of Sydney Rhodes).
Serenity Dean, Port Huron sophomore, has a cat named Moe. Dean said she got Moe during the Spring semester last year. “I felt like me and my roommate needed a cat for emotional support,” Dean said. “He needed emotional support from being abused, so I just felt like we fit together and now I feel like I’m his emotional support too,” (Photo by Naomi Cloostermans).
Cassidy Burgess, Fife Lake junior, adopted her cat, Amaryllis, last summer. “Having a cat helps me deal with my depression and she’s really comforting to have around,” Burgess said (Photo by Naomi Cloostermans).
Mary McLaughlin, Midland first year, owns a mini rex rabbit named Bon, short for Bon Voyage, who is eight months old. “I ended up getting her because I have really bad anxiety,” McLaughlin said. “And there’s been so much anxiety with moving, especially because I’m an only child,”(Photo by Naomi Cloostermans).
Taylor Strom, Mount Pleasant sophomore, owns a domestic American shorthair cat named Simba who is almost one year old. “I have him to help create a routine and emotionally support me during times of distress,” Strom said (Photo courtesy of Taylor Strom).
Shelby Chapo, Ann Arbor senior, owns a chinchilla named Olive who’s almost two years old. Chapo said that even if she’s feeling down, Olive “keeps her busy,” (Photo courtesy of Shelby Chapo).


About Naomi Cloostermans 10 Articles
Naomi Cloostermans is a sophomore from Brussels, Belgium. She is majoring in Environmental Science and minoring in Communications. In her free time, she likes to travel and explore new places. She plans on attending graduate school after graduating. Contact Naomi via email at

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