Animals on Campus Policy

Animals on Campus Policy FAQ

I. Policy Statement

The University of Puget Sound recognizes that there are circumstances in which animals may be appropriately brought on the University Campus. This policy is adopted to help ensure the safety, welfare, and sense of well-being of University Community Members and Campus Visitors by clarifying the obligations of Animal Owners to the University Community and the animals for which they are responsible. In doing so, the policy establishes expectations for acceptable behavior of any animal brought on the University Campus and outlines repercussions that may result from violations of these expectations. 

The University of Puget Sound is committed to compliance with state, federal and local laws regarding individuals with disabilities and providing reasonable accommodations as required by law to afford equal opportunity access to its programs, services and activities.  This policy should not be construed to abridge or supersede any rights or responsibilities put forth in any local, state, or federal laws, including but not limited to the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, or the Fair Housing Act.

II. Coverage

This policy applies to all University Community Members and Campus Visitors as defined in Section III, below. All University Community Members and Campus Visitors are responsible for the conduct and condition of the animal(s) they own at all times the animal is on Campus. Additionally, University Community Members and Campus Visitors are subject to relevant laws and ordinances.

III. Definitions

Animal Owner (or “Owner”): The person who is responsible for the custody, control, or possession of an animal while on the University Campus, including individuals who handle, train, or control the animal. 

Campus: See “University Campus”.

Campus Visitor(s): All persons temporarily on Campus who are not enrolled students or employed by the University. As examples, contractors, vendors, service providers, prospective students and their families, conference attendees, and Tacoma community members are all considered visitors to Campus.

Emotional Support Animal(s): An animal that provides comfort just by being with a person. Because an Emotional Support Animal has not been trained to perform a specific job or task, it does not qualify as a Service Animal under this policy. An Emotional Support Animal must be approved and registered with the Student Accessibility and Accommodations Office (students), or Human Resources (faculty/staff).

Enforcement Authorities: Individuals or University offices with the responsibility to enforce the expectations established by this policy. Any University Community Member or Campus Visitor may seek enforcement of this policy by advising individuals or offices listed below of suspected violation(s).

  • Director of Student Accessibility and Accommodations
  • Security Services
  • Human Resources
  • Student Affairs
  • University Department heads

Pet(s): Any animal owned and/or handled by a person that is not specifically designated as a Service Animal or Emotional Support Animal, and is not considered a Wild or Stray Animal.

Research/Demonstration Animal(s): An animal kept or brought on Campus for the sole purpose of educating students through research, demonstration, and experimentation. These animals are part of the University curriculum and kept or brought on Campus under the authority of the Provost.

Service Animal(s): Animals, typically dogs, individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service Animals are working animals, not Pets. In order to be considered a Service Animal under this policy, the work or task an animal has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability and/or illness. Any animal whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support is not considered a Service Animal under this policy.

University Building(s): Any and all structures owned and controlled by the University; provided, however, that University property used for the sole purpose of providing temporary housing for faculty and staff is exempt from this policy and animals in such housing are subject only to any applicable provisions in the University lease agreements for such property so long as the animal is inside the house or on the housing property.

University Campus (or “Campus”): Any and all University Buildings (permanent and temporary structures) and University Grounds (outdoor spaces including, but not limited to, athletic spaces, sidewalks, and fields) owned and controlled by the University. 

University Community Member(s): For purposes of this policy, these are University students, faculty, and staff members.

University Grounds: Any outdoor space owned and controlled by the University, including but not limited to athletic spaces, sidewalks, and fields.

Wild and Stray Animal(s): An animal that has not been domesticated or tamed and is usually living in a natural environment, and/or a domesticated animal that has been separated from its owner.

IV. Responsibilities and Accountability for Violations

  • In accordance with the Student Integrity Code, Faculty Code and staff policies, all University Community Members have the responsibility to adhere to and follow this policy.
  • Any policy violation by a student will be governed by the Student Integrity Code, and addressed by Student Affairs.
  • Any policy violation by a staff member will be governed by the Staff Corrective Action Policy, and addressed by Human Resources in consultation with the staff member’s department head.
  • Any policy violation by a faculty member will be governed by the Faculty Code, and will be addressed by the Provost in consultation with the faculty member’s department head.
  • Campus Visitors must adhere to University policy and applicable laws and ordinances.  Any violation by a Campus Visitor will be addressed by Security Services.

V. Expectations for Bringing Animals on the University Campus

A. Types of Animals

1. Pets
An Animal Owner is responsible for their Pet’s conduct while on Campus—including any damage caused by the animal to University or personal property. Such persons must clean up their Pet’s waste and have in their possession at all times the means to do so.

In accordance with applicable laws and ordinances, any Pet brought to Campus must be restrained on a leash no more than 8 feet in length. Pets on Campus must display appropriate city licensing and vaccination tags. The Pet must be accompanied by a person at all times.

Pets may not threaten or harm other animals, University Community Members, or Campus Visitors. Pets who display aggressive tendencies should not be brought to Campus. Pets who consistently demonstrate aggressive behavior will be banned from Campus.

Pets are not permitted in University-owned vehicles at any time. Pets in any other vehicles should not be left unattended on Campus. Security Services will ask for intervention from the Tacoma Police Department if a Pet is found to be left unattended in a vehicle and is judged to be in distress by a reasonable person, including in a life- or health-threatening situation by exposure to a prolonged period of extreme heat or cold.

Pets must not be left unattended on Campus. Securing a Pet outside a University Building to a bench, railing, garbage/recycling container, tree, or any other fixed item is not permitted and is considered as leaving the Pet unattended. Pets also are not permitted in Campus water features at any time or under any conditions.

Pets violating any of these requirements, including being left unattended and/or unsecured on Campus, may be impounded by Security Services and/or an external agency, consistent with relevant laws and ordinances.

2. Research/Demonstration Animals
Research/Demonstration Animals are animals kept or brought on Campus for the sole purpose of educating students through research, demonstration, and experimentation. These animals are part of the University curriculum and kept or brought on Campus under the authority of the Provost.

3. Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals 
Service Animals are allowed on Campus and in all University Buildings. A student with a Service Animal is encouraged to notify their instructors, each semester, before class begins. Faculty and Staff with a Service Animal are encouraged to notify Human Resources.

Emotional Support Animals are more restricted in their access. Under very specific circumstances and with prior approval, Emotional Support Animals belonging to students may be allowed to live in an on-campus residential facility in accordance with applicable law. That request must be approved by the Director of Student Accessibility and Accommodation. Faculty and staff wishing to have an Emotional Support Animal in their workspace must submit the appropriate accommodation request to Human Resources. The request must be approved by Human Resources before an Emotional Support Animal may be brought to the workplace.

While on Campus, Owners of Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals must adhere to the University policy and all relevant laws and ordinances.

4. Wild and Stray Animals
University Community Members and Campus Visitors should not feed any Wild Animal on Campus or harbor Stray Animals on Campus, unless the Provost has approved such interaction as part of a University research project. 

B. Access to the University Campus

1. Presence on University Grounds
Animals are allowed on the University Campus as long as the requirements in Section V, parts A–D are fully met.

2. General Prohibitions on Indoor Spaces
Animals are prohibited from public indoor spaces, academic classrooms, the Wheelock Student Center, residence halls, athletic facilities, and Kilworth Chapel except as provided below.

a. Exceptions

(1) Research/Demonstration Animals that have been approved by the Provost as part of the curriculum are allowed on the University Campus as approved by the Provost.

(2) Service Animals are allowed in public indoor spaces, academic classrooms, the Wheelock Student Center, residence halls, athletic facilities, and Kilworth Chapel. 

(3) Emotional Support Animals approved by the Student Accessibility and Accommodations Office are allowed in residence halls, or in workspaces if approved by Human Resources.

(4) Pets are allowed in a faculty or staff member’s individual private office if all of the following conditions are met:

(a) Approval must be granted by the faculty or staff member’s relevant Vice President or their designee, prior to the Pet coming to individual private offices.  If approval is granted, the approval must be registered with the Security Office including the name of the owner, name of the animal, and the approved office(s) or workspace(s). 

(b) The Pet must be physically restrained while entering and exiting the premises.  Once the Pet enters the private office, the Pet can be off leash unless this is problematic for a guest in that private office.

(c) It is the expectation that Pets are appropriately attended to by the faculty or staff member.

(d) Damage to the individual private office or any space on the University Campus caused by the Pet will be charged to the faculty or staff member on record as the owner and must be promptly reimbursed.

(e) Notwithstanding the above, the Vice President or their designee may revoke approval of an employee’s Pet in their individual private office, and the faculty or staff member may be subject to disciplinary action, if:

(1) University Community Members or Campus Visitors register concerns with the department head or any other Enforcement Authority around issues of noise, phobias, allergies, equity, or other concerns. 

(2) The Pet displays aggressive tendencies toward a University Community Member or Campus Visitor.

(3) The faculty or staff members fails to promptly clean up after the animal.

(4) The Pet becomes a nuisance, causes repeated disturbances, or interferes with department operations.

(5) The faculty or staff member as the owner fails to promptly reimburse the University for damage caused by their Pet.

(6) The faculty or staff member fails to follow the approval parameters set forth by their Vice President or designee.

VI. Effective Date

This policy is effective as of November 1, 2019.

VII. Related Statutes, Regulations, and Policies

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 3601, et seq.)
  • Chapter 49.60 RCW
  • Chapter 162-22 WAC
  • Tacoma Municipal Code (Chapter 17 – Animal Control and General Provisions)
  • Code of Conduct
  • Residence Life Policy
  • Student Integrity Code
  • Faculty Code
  • Staff Corrective Action Policy
  • Student Accommodations Intake and Forms

 

Policy Owner: Security Services
Date Adopted: July 9, 2019