Katia Sherman with her golden retriever Lucy. Courtesy | Katia Sherman

Even in the midst of a busy campus, the pets of the staff and faculty manage to be familiar and friendly faces to all they come across.

Most Fridays, English Pro­fessor Eliz­abeth Fredericks’s dog Char­lotte can be found helping her grade assign­ments in her office. “I joke that she is the ‘PhDog’ because she was with me all through my PhD and sat with me while I wrote my dis­ser­tation, and she is often sitting with me when I’m lesson planning or grading at home,” Fred­ericks said.

One of the campus’ well-known pets is Simpson House Director Peggy Wilson’s dog Codie. When Codie was born, Wilson’s children couldn’t keep her at the time, and Wilson was more than happy to find Codie a home. 

“My son brought her in for a weekend to see how she would do here,” said Wilson. “Of course she did great, and she never left.”

Assistant Pro­fessor of Spanish Katia Sherman’s golden retriever Lucy also fre­quents the campus. Lucy shares her home with 17 cats, not to mention the 10 ‘outdoor cats’ that Sherman takes care of as well. After her neighbor’s house was fore­closed and they skipped town, Sherman made the dis­covery of a lifetime.

“They had left a gigantic feral colony behind,” Sherman said, “so I neutered and spayed every one of them, and some of them were just so friendly that they began to move into the house.”

From there, her feline col­lection has only grown. “Stu­dents will find cats and bring them to me,” Sherman said. “And of course I can’t turn any cats away.”

Sherman explained that she has big plans for her cats — she plans to not only to build a home for them but also to become a cer­tified shelter as well. “We are even­tually going to file for non­profit status so that we can ask for con­tri­bu­tions from the com­munity and have those be tax deductible,” Sherman said. “My plan is to hook up with student orga­ni­za­tions and the college and have stu­dents vol­unteer.” 

Sherman said she sees this as an excellent way to connect with the college com­munity, offering vol­un­teering oppor­tu­nities to stu­dents.

“I think there are plenty of you with hearts that are open to animals and miss your animals that you left at home and would like to just be able to go some­where where you can just pet things to decom­press and relax,” Sherman said.