Members of the Southwestern University community are well aware that animals are a significant part of SU culture. From an academic minor in animal studies to our Cat Partners of Southwestern University special-interest group, many students, faculty, and staff alike are engaged in researching human relationships with other animals and/or rescuing, fostering, and loving their pets.

The University’s commitment to companion and other animals reflects the Austin metropolitan area’s generally warm and welcoming attitude toward our furry friends. It’s perhaps no wonder, then, that WalletHub editors have recognized the Texas capital as the fourth most pet-friendly large city in the U.S. The personal-finance website based their rankings on veterinary and other pet-care costs, the number of pet-friendly professionals and facilities per capita, and the number of furkid-welcoming parks, trails, and dog shows in the area.

Southwestern’s Elizabeth Root Paden Chair in and Professor of Religion and Environmental Studies Laura Hobgood was recently featured in the WalletHub article, “2019’s Most Pet-Friendly Cities.” Known on campus as an avid rescuer of dogs—many have fawned over the puppies she’s brought to campus and appreciated her calls for volunteer fosters on University channels—Hobgood, author of A Dog’s History of the World: Canines and the Domestication of Humans (Baylor University Press, 2014) and The Friends We Keep: Unleashing Christianity’s Compassion for Animals (Baylor University Press, 2010), shares her expert advice on on adopting companion animals, evaluating and improving how pet-friendly cities are, and considering whether to purchase pet insurance.

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