Cambridge University Selwyn master keeps 'banned' dog as 'very large cat'

YoYo the dog Image copyright Roger Mosey
Image caption YoYo the bassett hound is officially recognised as "a very large cat"

The master of a Cambridge University college that banned dogs from accommodation has been allowed to keep his canine companion after persuading officials it was "a very large cat".

YoYo the bassett hound lives at Selwyn College with Roger Mosey.

Mr Mosey said cats were allowed but dogs were "technically" banned.

However, after a past master set a "dog-owning precedent" decades ago, the college "tongue-in-cheek agreed YoYo could stay as a large cat", he said.

Mr Mosey, former editorial director of the BBC, became master of Selwyn College in October.

Image copyright Roger Mosey
Image caption Roger Mosey said he wanted YoYo to become part of college life

After settling in he asked permission from the college council to have a dog, despite the rules.

'Love your cat'

"Many former masters have kept cats but the greatest master, Professor Owen Chadwick, did keep dogs during the 1950s, 60s and 70s," he said.

Permission was granted by the council, and duly noted in the minutes: "i. College Animal - Noting precedent under the mastership of Professor Chadwick, Council approved the Master's request to adopt a Very Large Cat in the Master's Lodge."

Image copyright Roger Mosey
Image caption YoYo the bassett hound was adopted by Mr Mosey

For a while, Mr Mosey said, when he left the lodge with YoYo, he was greeted with calls of "hey, I love your big cat".

YoYo, a rescue dog, has now featured in publicity material for a veterinary course and other college material.

"Students call her 'the college dog' and I very much want her to become part of life at Selwyn," Mr Mosey said.

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