Are pets permitted on campus?
Yes and no.
Yes, pets are permitted outdoors on most parts of campus (pets are not permitted in any of our athletic facilities). We have many guests who visit our campus with their pets. However, owners are required to clean up after their pets. Be considerate of others; carry poo disposal bags with you and dispose of waste in provided receptacles.
However, while pets are allowed outdoors in most areas, they are NOT allowed inside any of the campus buildings. Students are NOT allowed to keep pets on campus, however…
Can I have a pet in my residence hall?
The only pets permitted by all students in the residence hall are fish and some aquatic frogs. Some student may have a documented medical need for assistance and have an ADA service animal or a pre-approved comfort animal on campus. The approval process for comfort animals begins with Ms. Bobbie Greenway in the Academic Resource Center in Annie Hogan Byrd and is only available to students who have a medical need as documented by a medical professional.
What’s the difference in a “comfort animal” and an “ADA service animal”?
An ADA service animal means any dog (or miniature horse) that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Tasks performed can include, among other things, pulling a wheelchair, retrieving dropped items, alerting a person to a sound, reminding a person to take medication, or pressing an elevator button. Comfort Animals are often used as part of a medical treatment plan as therapy animals, they are not considered service animals under the ADA.
Why do I care about the difference in an ADA animal and a comfort animal?
Because comfort animals do not actually do work as an ADA service animal does, comfort animals are only permitted to be in the student-owner’s assigned room and outdoors in areas where pets are permitted.
However, ADA animals are permitted to go wherever their owners go.
What if I don’t know which my animal is?
ADA service animals are rigorously and professionally trained to attend to their owner’s disability and do not interact with other humans while “working”, while comfort animals receive no particular kind of training. If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Bobbie Greenway.
What are my responsibilities as a pet owner?
Be nice. Well, first, a comfort animal is part of your family so we expect you to be a kind and compassionate owner/companion.
Make certain your pet is trained and nice too. Second, animals are just like children—they are a lot of work! Living in a residence hall is stressful for an animal and doubly so for an animal which has not been trained, so students are expected to have already trained their comfort animal for daily expectations (non-aggressive, house-broken, non-disruptive, etc.).
Crate Training. You are obligated to crate train your comfort animal while it resides on campus. Anytime you are not present in your room, your comfort animal is to be crated. This protects both your comfort animal and our students and staff. Animals can be very loving and still unpredictable. Even the best-behaved animal can react badly when it feels a stranger has entered its territory. So make sure you keep everyone, including your comfort animal, safe by crating responsibly.
Do the doo. Your animal has business to do. Of course, we all prefer that happen outside (versus in your room). You must clean up after your comfort animal by bagging the doo and properly disposing of it. It makes your animal harder to love (and you) when we keep stepping in your animal doo scattered around campus. That’s not really the impression we want to make, is it?
Know the territory. Your comfort animal is ONLY permitted in your room and outside. It is NOT permitted in other residential areas, classrooms, cafeteria, recreational areas, or administration buildings.
Shots. You have to produce documentation that your comfort animal it up to date on all of its vaccinations.
Registration. You may send a photo of your comfort animal to Student Affairs so we can make it an ID card. Then, if someone inquires about your comfort animal, you can easily show your animal is permitted on campus.
Leashes. All pets must be on a leash when outside of the room where they reside. Regardless of how well-behaved and well-loved your pet is, for the safety of everyone it must be on a leash.
Dog-sitting. Unfortunately, your comfort animal is not permitted in other residential spaces, dog-sitting in the residence halls is not permitted.
Damages. Pets are curious, and sadly, understand limited English, so training them can take a long time with many mishaps. Despite that, any damage your animal creates on campus is your financial responsibility.
What happens if I don’t do those things listed under “responsibilities”?
If you fail to be a responsible pet owner as outlined above, your comfort-animal status will be revoked.