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A listening session for a proposed policy to establish guidelines for animals on campus will be held from 3 to 4 p.m. today, Monday, Oct. 3, in the Carver Room of the Havener Center. The campus community is encouraged to attend. The proposed policy is as follows:
POLICY SUMMARY: This policy applies to all university-controlled buildings and grounds. This policy standardizes Missouri S&T’s position on the management of animals at Missouri S&T.
POLICY ORIGIN: Historically, there have been concerns regarding animals in university buildings and on the grounds. These complaints originate from faculty, staff and students and include: disruption in the classroom or laboratory, allergies, fear of bites or fear of the animal in general, and sanitation of the buildings and grounds. The purpose of this policy is to provide for the health and safety of Missouri S&T faculty, staff, students and visitors and for the protection of Missouri S&T’s property/assets.
DEFINITIONS: University-controlled buildings and grounds: Buildings and grounds that are owned, operated, leased and/or maintained by Missouri S&T.
Service animal: Any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. For the purpose of this policy, police K-9s are also considered service animals as well as any other animal that works for emergency personnel.
Assistance animal: Any type of animal that may or may not be specially trained but provides therapeutic benefit, such as alleviating or mitigating some symptoms of a mental or psychiatric disability. Assistance animals are not considered service animals.
Research and teaching animals: Approved animals used directly in support of Missouri S&T’s mission of teaching and research as used in accordance with guidelines established by Missouri S&T’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.
Wild or feral animal: A non-domesticated animal (e.g. stray cats or dogs, raccoons, squirrels, etc.).
University-controlled buildings: It is prohibited to bring animals inside any university-controlled building, except for the animals listed in the exceptions section of this policy. Any animal found within a university-controlled building not exempted from this policy may be impounded.
NOTE: Residence Halls are managed and operated under the Department of Residential Life. Please see the exceptions to this policy for further information about animals allowed in residence halls.
University-controlled grounds: All animals brought onto university-controlled grounds must be leashed or in a caged enclosure and under the control of a person who is capable to do so. All animals which are unleashed, or leashed and unattended, on university-controlled grounds are subject to impoundment. A loose animal trailing a leash, or one tied to a fixed object, is not under the control of a person. Animals left unattended in motor vehicles on Missouri S&T property are subject to impoundment if they become a nuisance or if the welfare of the animal(s) is threatened. Animal owners are responsible for cleaning up any messes made by their animal.
Anyone who brings an animal onto university-controlled buildings and grounds assumes all financial responsibility for any damages to property or injury to individuals caused by the animal.
It is prohibited to intervene with wild or feral animals that are in university-controlled buildings and grounds. Intervention may include, but is not limited to, feeding, building or providing shelters, or injecting medication. If the wild or feral animal poses a potential risk to a person, is causing property damage or creating a nuisance, it will be humanely relocated.
EXCEPTIONS TO THIS POLICY:
The following animals are permitted within a university-controlled building:
- Service animals (includes on-duty police K-9s, emergency personnel support animals, and rescue animals). Missouri S&T requests that you voluntarily register your service animal with Disability Support Services if you are a student and with Human Resources if you are an employee.
- Research and teaching animals.
- Assistance animals and non-poisonous, non-carnivorous fish in 5-gallon or smaller aquariums are permitted to be in residence halls in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the Missouri S&T Residential Life department. These animals would only be approved within the specific residence hall building occupied by the owner.
- Pets that have been approved as part of a housing agreement between Missouri S&T and an individual (e.g. residence hall director, faculty residence, Solar Village residence, etc.) These animals would only be approved within the residence for which the housing agreement was written.
- Animals that are brought into a university-controlled building as part of a university-approved event. The event must be approved by the Vice Chancellor, Finance and Administration prior to bringing any animals into a university-controlled building.
- Privately owned housing located on land owned by the university.
- In addition, there is a limited-time exception for privately owned housing property recently transitioned to university ownership, with the exception to expire upon lease termination of the current tenant.
The Vice Chancellor, Finance and Administration may grant additional one-time exceptions beyond those specifically listed above based on a reasonable request to bring an animal(s) into a university-controlled building (e.g., a department wishes to have a fish aquarium in the main office, etc.).
Individuals are encouraged to practice peer enforcement of this policy. Violations may be reported to the Vice Chancellor, Finance and Administration, and will be addressed by the appropriate authority, supervisor or administrator.
Members of the chancellor’s cabinet reviewed the proposed policy and made the following comments:
Comments received on proposed Animal policy
as of 9/22/2016
- Would the campus police be a better place to report this since they are equipped to take various reports already?
- The language in the policy origin does not really say anything about protecting the rights of those who utilize service animals, and I think that might impact how it is received by the audience; I might also remove/change the verbiage about allergies and fear of dogs, as those are expressly not to be considered valid as part of service animal accommodation considerations.
- The policy exceptions make no mention of miniature horses, which are covered under the latest revision of ADA. https://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm (last section)
- There is mention about ‘one time exemptions’ allowable by the VCFA; however, the example (permanent fish tank installation in a departmental office) does not track with that. Either remove ‘one-time’ or use a different example (animals brought to campus for a performance or educational display)
- Be sure that the MO laws are no more expansive of disability rights than the federal laws. A cursory reading shows that MO was careful to not allow any more rights than the ADA, but it’s probably a good idea to run it by legal to be sure.
- The proposal says that (unexempted) animals which are found in a University building may be impounded. Who will be in charge of enforcing these rules? University Police?
- How frequent are complaints with regard to animals in University buildings?