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Everyone needs a little help from a friend now and then.
The 27 animals "graduating'' from Florida's Eckerd College were a vital and friendly part of their owners' school experience.
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For the past five years, the college has honored the companion animals of their graduating seniors with their own ceremony.
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This year, the scaly, furry and prickly class of 2017 included 10 dogs, nine cats, three rats, a snake, a guinea pig, a desert tortoise, a parakeet and a hedgehog.
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During the May 9 ceremony, each of the animals, some of whom were wearing caps and gowns, were individually called to the stage, where they were met with cheers from attending students, staff and family.
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Once on stage, each graduate recieved an Eckerd College ID tag and a certificate from the school's president Donald Eastman.
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"This really is one of my favorite events at Eckerd College," wrote Eastman in a statement. "[This event] tells you more about what sort of place this is than any other," the president said.
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Eckerd College has a long history of showing respect to pets, and the role they play in our lives. Eckerd was the first school in America to accept on-campus pets, understanding that they can improve student life on campus.
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Since starting the separate ceremony in 2013, over 190 animals have 'graduated' from Eckerd College.
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Eckerd College students living on campus are permitted to bring one larger animal — dog under 40 pounds, cat, rabbit, ferret, duck and chinchillas — or two smaller ones — fish, hamsters, gerbils, amphibians, nonvenomous reptiles under four feet long and small birds.