Animals on Campus

Handbook of Operating Procedures 3-3011

Animals on Campus

University of Texas SealEffective January 06, 2014
Executive Sponsor: VP for Diversity & Community EngagementPolicy Owner: Senior Associate Vice President and ADA Coordinator
I. Policy Statement 

The University of Texas at Austin (“University”) allows individuals to bring animals on University property in accordance with federal laws and in other situations subject to the rules outlined in this policy.

A service animal is permitted on campus grounds and within university buildings, including the University housing assignment provided to an individual with a disability. This practice follows Titles II and III of the American with Disabilities Act Amendment Act (ADAAA).

An emotional support animal is permitted on campus grounds and to accompany an individual into his or her University assigned residence in accordance with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. However, a support animal is not allowed to accompany the individual into his or her residential dining center or into any other University building.

Animals not governed by this policy are referenced in Sec. VII.E below.

II. Reason for Policy 

The University supports the use of service and emotional support animals on campus in compliance with applicable federal and state laws. At the same time, it recognizes the health and safety risks potentially created by unrestrained animals on campus. This policy sets forth roles and responsibilities of individuals  bringing animals on campus. 

III. Scope & Audience 

This policy applies to employees, students, University affiliates, visitors, contractors, and applicants for admission to or employment with the University.

This policy should not be read to grant an individual access to University property beyond that to which they would normally be granted.

IV. Definitions (specific to this policy) 
Emotional Support Animal:

an animal that is necessary to afford a person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling when there is an identifiable relationship or nexus between the person’s disability and the assistance the animal provides.

Person With A Disability:

an individual with a disability is a person with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; has a record of such impairment; or is regarded as having such impairment.

Service Animal:

a dog individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, and alerting/protecting a person who is having a seizure. The provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship does not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of defining a service animal. Under certain circumstances, miniature horses may also be trained as a service animal and permitted within University buildings, where reasonable.

Service Animal in Training:

a dog undergoing training by an approved trainer who is an agent of an organization generally recognized by agencies involved in the rehabilitation of persons who are disabled as reputable and competent to provide training for assistance animals, and/or their handlers.

V. Website (for policy) 
https://policies.utexas.edu/policies/hop/3-3011
VI. Contacts 
Contact Details Web
ADA CoordinatorPhone:512-232-2910 Website:Email:maedgen@austin.utexas.edu
Services for Students with DisabilitiesPhone:512-471-6259Website:
Environmental Health & SafetyPhone:512-471-2287Website:
University Housing (Residence Halls) Phone:512-471-3136 Website:Email:housing@austin.utexas.edu
University Housing (Apartments)Phone:512-232-5299Website:Email:dhfs.apartments@austin.utexas.edu
VII. Responsibilities & Procedures 

Animals are permitted on campus grounds and in some cases, into University buildings, providing the animal’s owner follows federal, state and local laws and those rules covered in this policy. Provisions for service and support animals in campus buildings are also covered below.

 

  1. Animals on Campus Grounds
  1. Animals brought on campus must be under the complete control of the owner at all times and present no hazard to people or property. The wearing of a muzzle by a dog shall not be regarded as control by its owner.
  1. Animals on campus grounds must:
  1. be securely confined in a vehicle, cage, or similar restrictive conveyance, or
  1. be secured to a leash, cord, chain, or similar direct physical control of a maximum length of six (6) feet, the other end of which is restrained by a person. If this constraint interferes with a service animal's work or if the individual's disability prevents using these devices the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls. Physical constraint of the animal does not apply to service or support animals kept within an individual’s University housing assignment.
  1. Animals must not be tethered to a stationary fixture or tree, or left unattended on campus. Service and support animals may be left unattended within the confines of the owner's university residence.
  1. The University may take reasonable efforts to remove an animal confined in a vehicle when there appears to be eminent danger to the animal due to inadequate ventilation or temperature conditions. The University is not liable for any associated repair/damage costs to the vehicle for this action and the animal’s owner assumes full responsibility.
  1. Dogs and cats brought to campus must have a valid license as evidence of current rabies vaccinations or they may be subject to removal from campus.
  1. The University retains the right to take action to remove any animal from University premises if the safety of others, destruction of property, or disturbance warrants such removal. The removal of any animal and any necessary cleaning, repairs, and/or pest control will be done at the expense of the owner. The owner may also be subject to disciplinary action. This action may also extend to cases involving service and support animals.
  1. In all cases, the owner of the animal is responsible for the animal’s behavior.
  1. In general, animals other than service and support animals are not permitted into University buildings except animals not governed by this policy as noted in Sec VII.E.
  1. Service Animals on Campus
  1. In accordance with law, the University permits service animals into campus buildings where other animals would typically not be permitted.  
  1. Criteria for Service Animals in Campus Buildings
  1. The service animal must have been trained as a service animal in the work or tasks directly related to the person’s disability.
  1. Individuals are permitted to bring his or her service animal in all areas of the campus including University buildings and any place of public accommodation. This includes any University housing assigned to the individual after following approval steps referred to in Sec. VII.3.iii below.
  1. Individuals living in University housing will be permitted to have no more than one service or support animal.
  1. Procedures for Obtaining Approval of the Use of a Service Animal within University Buildings
  1. Employee. While an employee is not required to submit an accommodation request to bring a service animal into a University building, he or she may seek further advice on services the University can provide to employees with disabilities. Refer to the University’s Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP) 3-3010, Disability Accommodation for Applicants and Employees.
  1. Student. While a student is not required to submit an accommodation request to bring a service animal into a University building, he or she may seek further advice on services the University can provide to students with disabilities. Information may be found at: http://ddce.utexas.edu/disability/how-to-register-with-ssd/.
  1. Students with Service Animals Residing in University Housing. A student must seek registration for a service animal to reside in University housing space. Information and procedures to gain approval may be found at these webpages: 

An individual may appeal the decision to the University ADA Coordinator should his or her request for a service animal in housing be denied.

 

  1. Service Animals in Training on Campus
  1. An individual with a service animal in training may enter University buildings with the animal, provided:
  • the individual is an approved trainer who is an agent of an organization recognized as reputable and competent to provide such training;
  • the individual submits proof to the ADA Coordinator that he or she is an approved trainer as required in Texas Human Resources Code Sec. 121.003; and
  • the animal is adequately under control of the trainer as per Sec. VII.A.2 above.
  1. A University employee who wishes to bring a service animal in training onto campus while performing his or her duties must maintain compliance with HOP 5-2011, Conflict of Interest, Conflict of Commitment, and Outside Activities in addition to those found in Section C.1 above.
  1. Emotional Support Animals on Campus
  1. In accordance with federal law, the University permits an individual with a disability to keep an emotional support animal within his or her University housing assignment and on University grounds.
  1. An individual may not bring his or her emotional support animal into other University buildings, including the dining center of his or her assigned University residential facility. An emotional support animal is not allowed to accompany a University employee into his or her workplace, or any other University building, unless that building is the employee’s assigned University residence.
  1. Criteria for Emotional Support Animals in University Housing
  1. Typically, an emotional support animal is prescribed to an individual with a disability by a healthcare or mental health professional and is an integral part of a person’s treatment process.
  1. Individuals living in University housing will be permitted to have no more than one service or support animal.
  1. Procedures for Obtaining Approval for the Use of a Support Animal Within University Housing
  1. The Office of Services for Students with Disabilities manages requests related to a support animal within the student’s University housing assignment. Requests made by faculty or staff residing in University housing should be directed to the Division of Housing and Food Service’s Human Resources Office.
  1. Students seeking approval for use of a support animal within University housing must follow the steps outlined on these webpages:
  1. An individual may appeal the decision to the University ADA Coordinator should his or her request for a service animal in housing be denied.
  1. Animals Not Governed by this Policy

This policy does not apply to the following animals:

  • Animals involved in authorized research
  • K-9 animal (police dog)
  • Animals being temporarily held by Environmental Health and Safety (“EH&S”)
  • Fish contained in aquariums
  • Animals used for performance on premises or involved in a University sponsored activity, such as mascots, but only as approved by the University in advance by the Director of EH&S
XI. History 

Last review date: January 6, 2014

        Editorial changes made July 1, 2014 and May 6, 2015.

Next scheduled review date: January 2016