College Graduation Honors Students’ Pets

The graduates at this year’s Eckerd College graduation were a little more unique than your average student—mostly because they all had four legs.

The Eckerd College graduation ceremony in St. Petersburg, Florida, has been hosting pet graduations for seven years in a row. About 30 pets received certificates, including dogs, cats, snakes, rabbits, bearded dragons, a guinea pig, a tortoise, and a hedgehog.

“He’s been my dog for seven years; he’s been at college here with me for three years,” Hunter Blencowe said of her service dog, Gibbs. “I’m on the search and rescue team, at least a third, probably half the team was here tonight, and I definitely cried when they all stood up and screamed for Gibbs.”

15.6 percent of Eckerd College’s 2,000 students live on campus with their pets. The college had 304 registered pets with its student-run Pet Life Council for the past school year.

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