Evidence the Elite are Fading: Emotional Support Animals at Yale

There is zero scientific evidence for emotional support animals, but Yale allows them for their anxious students.

Yale is unquestionably a leading institution that supports and trains America’s ruling class. But they are falling to the same snowflakery as other schools. I always assumed our elites knew enough to raise independent and strong-minded sons and daughters. But that seems doubtful with emotional support animals “proliferating” on campus.

There’s nothing wrong with using a pet for comfort, but why not just allow pets? Making up the category of “emotional support animal” with no scientific support, shows the elites are prone to the same superstitions as the rest of us.

Someday soon, our leaders will no longer come from Yale or other Ivy League schools. They don’t deserve their exalted place in society.

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Yale News reports, “Emotional support animals proliferate at Yale.

If you walked into the Grace Hopper College courtyard last year, you may have seen a cat on a leash. Last fall you might have seen a dog; this semester, there are two of them scurrying around Hopper.

These are emotional support animals. While Yale College does not allow students to live with pets on campus, University Policy 4400 allows students to live with emotional support animals, also called assistance animals, “on a case-by-case basis in a reasonable accommodation for a documented disability.”

Last year, there was one registered support animal on Yale’s campus, a kitten named Sawa. There are now 14 — a number that Sarah Chang, associate director of the Resource Office on Disabilities, expects to rise.

“If what has played out at other schools is true, then yes, [there will be] a lot more,” Chang said. “I do think we’re going to see a large increase in numbers, definitely.”

Emotional support animals require no training. They don’t even have to be dogs. Their purpose is to provide a therapeutic benefit through companionship. At Yale, there are emotional support dogs, emotional support cats and even an emotional support hedgehog. All members of the class of 2021 were asked on the first-year housing survey whether they would be agreeable to sharing a suite with a student who has an emotional support animal or service animal.

Still, despite the increase in the number of such animals, there is little scientific evidence to support their impact on humans, according to Molly Crossman GRD ’19, a Yale doctoral student in psychology who has studied the mental health benefits of people’s interactions with animals.

“There isn’t research that speaks directly to emotional support animals. There’s little directly on that that I’m aware of,” Crossman said. “Although we generally agree that science informs policy, often it just doesn’t work out like that.”

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About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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