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Student's rodent allowed to stay on university campu

Thursday, 21st March 2013

When it comes to studying, guinea pigs are more used to playing the role of the subject in academic research and experiments, but one pet rodent has now been granted the right to live on a university campus in the US after her owner sued the school.

Twenty-eight-year-old Kendra Velzen had initially been told by officials at Grand Valley State University in Michigan that she would not be allowed to keep her pet guinea pig, named Blanca, in her campus accommodation.

However, Ms Velzen then took the university to court, insisting that Blanca was an "emotional support animal" and a necessary part of her treatment for chronic depression and heart problems, eventually being awarded $40,000 (£26,500).

While living with a pet can be both enriching and therapeutic, it's important to consider the animal's welfare by taking into account whether or not you are able to provide the right environment and level of care. Students often struggle to afford medical bills and pet food, although Ms Velzen's hefty windfall should be more than enough to cover Blanca's needs.