Frat pets: meet the cutest members of fraternities in Berkeley

Hopi Hernandez/Staff

The Clog went frat-hopping this week — although not in the way that you would expect. We visited every fraternity at UC Berkeley in the hopes of meeting some of their favorite members: their pets.

Fraternity: Sigma Alpha Mu

Pet name: Wallace

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Yu Ting/Courtesy (left), Hopi Hernandez (right)

“He has rushed a lot of guys.” — Steve Hoffman, senior.

Wallace, also known as Wallie, is a beautiful dog that lives with the brothers of Sigma Alpha Mu, aka “Sammy’s”. He has been a part of this community for two years since senior Shawn Zhao decided to buy him. The brothers at Sammy’s love and protect Wallie as if he were another member of the house. “He is like a pledge of our house,” said sophomore Mustafa Sohail. Wallie found a community that takes care of him, but he takes care of them too. He’s great company for the brothers of Sigma Alpha Mu and gives them lots of affection. He is very friendly and loves to meet new people.

Fraternity: Sigma Nu

Pet name: Snaps

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Hopi Hernandez/Staff

“He is the friendliest dog.”  Stuart Miller, junior.

Junior Stuart Miller, a brother at Sigma Nu Fraternity, introduced us to Snaps, a smart and playful rescue dog that has been a part of the fraternity for about a year. “I just woke up one morning and talked to my two other roommates, and we were like: Why don’t we have a dog? And then we got a dog that day,” Miller said. Once that decision was made, everyone at Sigma Nu pitched in to buy Snaps. Snaps has adjusted well to life at Sigma Nu, and the brothers have greatly enjoyed giving him lots of attention and care.

Pet names: Alpha 1, Alpha 2, Alpha 3 and Nathan

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Hopi Hernandez/Staff

“I’m scared of the snakes, but damn it, I sure respect the hell out of ’em.”  Stuart Moore, sophomore.

Yes, the brothers of Sigma Nu do not only have a dog named Snaps — they also have four snakes. Most people prefer dogs and cats, but who says that snakes don’t make for awesome pets as well? Alpha 1, 2 and 3 have been part of this fraternity for about six years. Senior Stuart Miller brought his own snake, Nathan, to give the rest some company — as if they didn’t already have enough. These animals sure make this fraternity stand out. Next time you are walking by Sigma Nu go check them out  unless you are deadly scared of snakes.

Fraternity: Acacia

Pet name: Dharma

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Hopi Hernandez/Staff

“She doesn’t have fleas.”  Derek Tuggle, senior.

Dharma, the most adorable member of Acacia Fraternity, is a cuddly and cute cat senior Derek Tuggle absolutely loves. Their story is a great example of the meaning of friendship. “She keeps me company. She likes to hang out with me, I like to hang out with her,” Tuggle said. Originally owned by another brother in the fraternity, Thomas Witkowski, Dharma was passed on to Tuggle. Witkowski was Derek’s first friend at UC Berkeley — they met at CalSO. “I was taking care of (Dharma) over the summer, and we bonded. I liked her, and I was like, hey, can I just have her? And Thomas was like, yeah,” Tuggle said. Now they both share the presence of Dharma in their lives. With Derek’s care and protection, Dharma continues to win the hearts of the brothers of Acacia while she slowly expands her territory from the third floor to the rest of the house.

Fraternity: Sigma Alpha Epsilon 

Pet name: Dante

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Hopi Hernandez/Staff

“He is amazing with humans, even better with children.” – Kia Fariba, junior.

Kia Fariba has owned Dante since he was a freshman in high school. So when he moved to UC Berkeley and into the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house, so did Dante — though not right away.“Freshman year it was kinda tough to cope … really tough stressful time in my life. I came home and I realized how much I missed Dante … and how much of a spot in my life he filled,” Fariba said. Now, Dante is the pride and joy of the fraternity. Because Fariba’s mom has a childcare center where small, 6-month-old babies would play with him, Dante has always been great with people.

Fraternity: Delta Kappa Epsilon

Pet name: Rutherford

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Hopi Hernandez/Staff

“You can add him on Facebook.”  Spencer Woo, senior.

When we walked in the room, Rutherford was laying on the bed as if he owned it. This adorable cat was adopted as a kitten and raised by the the brothers of Delta Kappa Epsilon. “We had a mouse problem,” Woo explained. Each brother has a “cat shift” to help take care of Rutherford, who they consider part of the family. Rutherford will be 3 years old in the spring. While they are especially grateful for Rutherford’s mouse exterminating skills, they do admit he has been slacking lately. Rutherford B. Haze also has a Facebook page.

Pet name: Teddy

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Hopi Hernandez/Staff

“Who doesn’t like dogs?”  Christian Higgins, senior.

Delta Kappa Epsilon has another furry friend named after a president: Teddy. Look at those big brown eyes! Christian Higgins is the main caretaker and owner of this little guy. Being a busy UC Berkeley student and a former swimmer for the Cal swim team made it difficult to raise an animal, but Christian has finally found the time to take care of baby Teddy. “I’ve wanted a dog in Berkeley for a long time,” Higgins said. Christian plans on taking Teddy with him when he graduates from UC Berkeley, but in the meantime he is loved and spoiled by the brothers of DKE. Who wouldn’t love this dog?

Fraternity: Zeta Psi

Pet names: Queen, left, and Ike, right

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Hopi Hernandez/Staff

“They love each other.”  Ryan Cudo, fifth year

Queen and Ike are the two most lovable pets at Zeta Psi Fraternity. Though Queen is a temporary visitor, she has been at Zeta Psi for a month now and has greatly enjoyed her time with the brothers of the fraternity. “She loves all of the attention. … She just runs down the hallway and stops by everybody’s rooms to say hi,” Cudo said. Ike has been at the Zeta Psi since the beginning of this semester and is taken care of by Dennis Loo, a junior. These two are complete opposites, but they are best friends and love spending time with each other.

Fraternity: Delta Upsilon

Pet name: Oliver

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Hopi Hernandez/Staff

“He needed a home.”  Alex Tyler, senior. 

Alex took in Oliver when he was only 10 months old. He found him on Craigslist when he saw an ad that showed a stray cat that needed a home. Alex, an experienced cat owner and former Daily Californian employee, felt that he was ready to share his home with Oliver. “At first he was, like, really shy,” Tyler said. But almost a year later, this shy cat seems to be learning to be a little bit more extroverted — one step at a time. He gets along very well with DU’s dog — which we unfortunately did not get to meet — but does not get along with other cats. Oliver mostly stays in Alex’s room, because loud noises disturb him. But Oliver is overcoming his “chicken-like” personality, as Tyler calls it, as he has been exploring the hallways and meeting new people.

Pet names: the Newts 

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Hopi Hernandez/Staff

As a plus, they have newts! When we asked them what their names were, they responded, “the Newts.”

Fraternity: Theta Delta Chi

Pet names: Lana and Courage

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Hopi Hernandez/Staff

“It is like having kids!”  Alejandro Garcia, fifth year.

The last time Theta Delta Chi had a dog was 20 years ago — that is, until Alejandro Garcia decided that he was ready to take on the responsibility. His dogs back home had six puppies, and after consulting with the brothers of TDX  who were very excited and positive about the idea of getting a pet  Alejandro came back with not one but two puppies! Once they were brought to TDX, Alex and his close friend, Leonard Scott, a junior, have loved the experience of raising them. Since then, Lana and Courage have become inseparable — literally though, they are together all the time. You can find these two charming puppies playing around on the lawn of TDX, and sometimes even sororities such as Kappa Alpha Theta.

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Hopi Hernandez/Staff

Fraternity: Theta Chi

Pet name: Luna

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Sofia Gonzalez-Platas/Staff

“She is the best dog I have ever experienced in my entire life.”  Dominic Skinner, senior. 

Luna joined the brothers of Theta Chi fraternity when Dominic became a brother during his sophomore year at UC Berkeley. “I brought her one day, and they were like, yeah, she is incredible,” Skinner said. Skinner says Luna is the most noble and compassionate dog he has ever had. We asked him if Luna’d been extensively trained — she was so well behaved we assumed she was trained by a professional — but Skinner said he never had to make an effort to train her. Luna is smart and understands what to do in every situation. In addition, she learned to read Skinner’s personality very quickly. A fun fact about Luna is that she loves to chase the squirrels on campus! She has gotten very close to catching one but hasn’t been succesful yet. Maybe it’s better that way. But she does not give up easily — she will wait for hours staring at a tree where the squirrels hide from her. If you ever see her around campus, go say hi to her, she is very friendly!

Fraternity: Phi Kappa Tau

Pet name: Hope Solo 

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Sofia Gonzalez-Platas/Staff

“If you have a treat, she’ll pretty much do anything for it.”  Justin He, senior.

The brothers of Phi Kappa Tau got Solo during the spring semster of 2012. Originally a rescue dog, Solo was adopted by the brothers of the fraternity because they wanted a mascot. But senior Justin He became the official owner of Solo because she would only listen to him. “I used to sleep with her at night — it’s a really good way to get close with a dog, I guess,” he said. Her name is inspired by the U.S. soccer goalkeeper Hope Solo. What this dog and the athlete have in common is that they both have “a beautiful face but a beastly body,” he explained. Her enthusiasm and friendly personality make her really hard to contain in the house, but the brothers of Phi Kappa Tau love her just the way she is.

From newts to dogs to snakes and cats, fraternities in Berkeley love their pets. A shout out to all the fraternities that were able to welcome us into their homes! If you’re having a bad day, try stopping by one of these houses to see if they’ll let you meet one of these adorable animals maybe you’ll even be introduced to one that we weren’t able to spotlight here. They will make your day better, we promise.

Contact Sofia Gonzales-Platas at [email protected] and Contact Hopi Hernandez at [email protected].

Correction(s):
A previous version of this article did not disclose that Alex Tyler previously worked at the Daily Californian.