Animals on Campus

Title: Animals on Campus
Policy Owner: Office of Institutional Equity
Applies to: Students, All Employees, Contractors, Vendors, Visitors, Guests and Other Third Parties
Campus Applicability: All
Effective Date: June 9, 2017
For More Information, Contact Office of Institutional Equity
Contact Information: (860) 486-2943 & (860) 679-3563
Official Website: http://www.equity.uconn.edu and http://www.accessibility.uconn.edu

Related Policies are:

Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment and Related Interpersonal Violence
Policy Statement: People with Disabilities

Related Documents are:

UCH Clinical Practice Procedures Regarding Animals
Frequently Asked Questions

1. PURPOSE 

This policy provides the rules concerning individuals bringing animals on University property. This policy applies to all University campuses. Specific procedures regarding the presence of animals in UConn Health clinical practice and patient care areas are outlined in the UConn Health Clinical Practice Procedures Regarding Animals.

2. LEGAL 

The Americans with Disabilities Act governs the use of service animals by individuals with disabilities. See 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq. The Fair Housing Act governs the use of emotional support animals (ESA’s) by individuals with disabilities in housing. See 42 U.S.C. § 3601, et seq. Connecticut state law regarding service animals may be found under C.G.S. § 46a-44.

3. DEFINITIONS

Controlled Space
For purposes of this policy, controlled spaces are not public spaces. Controlled spaces are defined as any indoor area owned or controlled by the University, and any outdoor area owned or controlled by the University with limitations on use or access (e.g., practice fields, stadiums, farm, tennis courts, etc.). Areas open to the public (i.e., streets, lawns, sidewalks, parking lots) with no limitations on access are not controlled spaces.

Handler
An individual with a disability who is the owner and user, or trainer of a service animal or ESA, or the owner or individual bringing an animal onto University property.

Emotional Support Animal (ESA)
Any animal specifically designated by a qualified medical provider that alleviates one or more identified symptoms of an individual’s disability. Such animal may afford an individual with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling, workplace, or other area, provided there is a nexus between the individual’s disability and the assistance the animal provides. ESA’s are also commonly known as companion, therapeutic or assistance animals. ESA’s are not service animals.

Pet
For purposes of this policy, a pet is any animal that is not a service animal or ESA.

Public Spaces

For purposes of this policy, public spaces are indoor and outdoor areas that are open to the general public. Classrooms, residence halls and most employee workspaces are not generally considered public spaces.

Service Animal
Any dog specifically trained to perform a task for the benefit of an individual with a disability. In some circumstances, a miniature horse may be considered a service animal. The tasks performed by a service animal must directly relate to the individual’s disability.
Service Animal in Training
For purposes of this policy, a service animal in training is a dog that is being trained as a service animal and includes a puppy that is being raised to become a service animal in training.

University Property
For purposes of this policy, University property includes all areas owned or controlled by the University.

4. APPLICABILITY

This policy applies to all individuals bringing an animal on University property.

5. POLICY

5.1 Prohibition
All individuals are generally prohibited from bringing animals into any buildings or other controlled spaces on University property. However, individuals with disabilities are allowed to bring service animals and ESA’s on and/or into controlled spaces as provided below. In addition, faculty and staff are permitted to have pets in University-owned residential housing only to the extent permitted by the lease governing their rental agreement.  Exceptions for individuals in residence halls may be made in the sole discretion of the Executive Director of Residential Life or designee for exigent circumstances or other good cause shown consistent with the spirit and intent of this policy.
5.2 Service Animals
The University welcomes the presence of service animals assisting people with disabilities on its campuses consistent with the provisions of this policy and applicable law. A service animal is generally permitted to be on University property in any place where the animal’s handler is permitted to be. In certain limited situations, a service animal may be prohibited for safety and health reasons. The accompaniment of an individual with a disability by a service animal in a location with health and safety restrictions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the appropriate department representative(s) in collaboration with the Department of Human Resources and/or the Center for Students with Disabilities.

Members of the University community, are prohibited from interfering in any way with a service animal, or the duties it performs.

5.3 Service Animals in Training
Connecticut law entitles any individual training a service animal to enter public spaces. A service animal in training is not allowed in controlled spaces including classrooms, residence halls and employee work areas. The individual training a service animal must be authorized to engage in designated training activities by a service animal organization or an individual who volunteers for a service animal organization that authorizes such volunteers to raise dogs to become service animals.  Individuals training a service animal must carry photographic identification indicating authorization to train the animal. A service animal in training, including a puppy that is being raised to become a service animal in training, must be identified with either tags, ear tattoos, identifying bandanas (on puppies), identifying coats (on adult dogs), or leashes and collars.

5.4 Emotional Support Animals (ESA’s)
An approved ESA owned by an individual who lives in University housing is permitted within the individual’s privately assigned living accommodations. An ESA  outside the private individual living accommodations must be in an animal carrier or controlled by a leash or harness.  ESA’s are not allowed in any other controlled spaces without advance permission. ESA’s are permitted to be in outdoor public areas to the same extent as pets.

An ESA owned by an individual employed by the University may be permitted within the individual’s workplace as an accommodation for a disability, but must be approved in advance by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Case Manager at the Department of Human Resources as outlined in Section 6.1 below.

5.5 Pets
Pets generally are not permitted in or on any controlled space on University property, and are permitted only in outdoor areas open to the general public.

5.6 Handler’ Responsibilities
5.6.1 A service animal, service animal in training, ESA or pet must be supervised directly by the handler, and the handler must retain full control of the animal at all times while on University property. The animal must be in an animal carrier or controlled by a harness, leash or tether, unless these devices interfere with the animal’s work, the individual’s disability prevents using these devices, or the animal is an ESA within the handler’s own dwelling. In those cases, the handler must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.

5.6.2 Animals may not be left unattended at any time on University property, except for service animals left in the handler’s University residence or private office space or ESA’s left in the handler’s dwelling unit.  The service animal or ESA may be left unattended only for reasonable periods of time, as determined by the appropriate University staff based on the totality of the circumstances. The University may request impoundment of an ESA or service animal left for longer than a reasonable period of time. Owners of impounded animals will be held responsible for payment of any impound and/or license fees required to secure the release of their animals.

5.6.3 A handler who leaves his or her service animal or ESA unattended for longer than a reasonable period of time will receive one warning, and if the behavior occurs a second time, the University reserves the right to require the handler to remove the animal from campus and to prohibit the animal from being permitted back onto University property.

5.6.4 All handlers are responsible for compliance with state and local laws concerning animals (including registration, vaccinations, and tags), for controlling their animals, for cleaning up any waste created by the animal, and for any damage caused by the animal to individuals or property while on University property.

6. PROCEDURES

Specific procedures regarding the presence of animals in UConn Health clinical practice and patient care areas are outlined in the UConn Health Clinical Practice Procedures Regarding Animals.

6.1 Employees Requesting Permission for Service Animals or ESA’s

6.1.1 Workplace Accommodation

Employees and all others performing work for the University who seek the presence of a service animal or an ESA as a workplace accommodation must contact the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Case Manager at the Department of Human Resources in advance of reporting for work with the animal. For service animals, the individual may be asked whether the animal is needed because of a disability, and what work or task(s) the animal has been trained to perform.

For ESA’s, the ADA Case Manager will determine whether the request represents a reasonable accommodation for a documented disability. The terms of the approval, including where the ESA will and will not be permitted, will be determined and documented by the ADA Case Manager, after the facilitation of an interactive accommodations process with the employee and their supervisor(s). This process must occur before any employee can bring an ESA into the workplace. The ADA Case Manager may be contacted at (860) 486-2036 or hr@uconn.edu. Information related to the ADA accommodations process for employees, is contained online: http://hr.uconn.edu/ada-compliance/.

UConn Health employees must contact the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) in advance of reporting for work with the animal. OIE may be contacted at (860) 679-3563 or equity@uconn.edu.  Information related to the ADA accommodations process for UCH employees is contained online: http://equity.uconn.edu/accessibility/


6.1.2. Residential Accommodation

Employees who reside on University property and who wish to have an ESA in their University housing as an accommodation for a disability must request the University’s permission to have the ESA in University housing. Permission will be granted only as an accommodation for a documented disability and must be arranged through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Case Manager at the Department of Human Resources prior to bringing the animal into University housing. The ADA Case Manager will determine whether the request represents a reasonable accommodation for a documented disability and should be granted.

The employee is not allowed to take an ESA into any other controlled spaces, including but not limited to the employee’s work area, unless the employee has received express authorization to do so from the University. The ADA Case Manager may be contacted at (860) 486-2036 or hr@uconn.edu. Information related to the ADA accommodations process for employees is contained online: http://hr.uconn.edu/ada-compliance/.


6.2 Students Requesting Permission for Service Animals or ESA’s

6.2.1. Service Animals
Students are not required to receive permission from the University prior to bringing a service animal onto University property. The student may be asked whether the animal is needed because of a disability, and what work or task(s) the animal has been trained to perform.

If a student with a service animal plans to reside on campus, the student must notify the University of the need for a service animal’s presence in advance of beginning residence on University property with the animal. Such notification allows the University to make appropriate arrangements, offer any necessary assistance prior to the student’s arrival on campus, and to notify Public Safety of the animal’s presence in case of an emergency. Students should contact Residential Life prior to bringing the animal into their housing at livingoncampus@uconn.edu or (860) 486-2926. Students may also visit http://www.reslife.uconn.edu for further information.

If a student needs any other accommodations while attending the University, documentation of the disability and a request for accommodations must be made under the procedures found at http://www.csd.uconn.edu.  Students may also visit the Center for Students with Disabilities in Wilbur Cross, Room 204, or contact (860) 486-2020 or email csd@uconn.edu for further information related to accommodations.

UConn Health students may contact the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) for any questions related to service animals, ESA’s, or more generally related to accommodations.  OIE may be contacted at (860) 679-3563 or equity@uconn.edu.


6.2.2. Emotional Support Animals (ESA’s)
Permission to have an ESA may be granted only as an accommodation for a documented disability and must be arranged in advance through the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD). CSD will determine whether the request represents a reasonable accommodation for a documented disability and should be granted. In making that determination, CSD (in connection with Residential Life for those students residing in residence halls), will consider:

  • The size of the animal
  • Whether the animal’s presence would force another individual from that individual’s housing (e.g., serious allergies)
  • Whether the animal’s presence would violate individuals’ rights to peace and quiet enjoyment
  • Whether the animal is housebroken or able to live with others
  • Direct threat (currently or in the past) to the individual or others
  • Past excessive damage to housing caused by the animal

A request for an accommodation must be made under the procedures found at http://www.csd.uconn.edu.  Students may also visit the Center for Students with Disabilities in Wilbur Cross, Room 204, or contact (860) 486-2020 or email csd@uconn.edu.

If approved, a student must have advance communication with Residential Life prior to bringing the animal into their housing. Students may contact Residential Life at livingoncampus@uconn.edu or (860) 486-2926. Students may also visit http://www.reslife.uconn.edu.

Students are not allowed to take ESA’s in or on any controlled spaces other than their privately assigned living accommodations without specific advance authorization from CSD.  ESA’s cannot be left overnight in University housing to be cared for by anyone other than the handler absent permission from Residential Life. The handler must clean up after the animal, ensure that the animal does not disturb the peace and quiet enjoyment of others, and otherwise ensure that the animal is well cared for.

6.3 Visitors
Visitors are not required to receive permission from the University prior to bringing a service animal onto University property. The visitor may be asked whether the animal is needed because of a disability, and what work or task(s) the animal has been trained to perform.

A visitor may contact the Office of Institutional Equity at equity@uconn.edu or (860) 486-2943 (Storrs and Regional Campuses); (860) 679-3563 (UConn Health) in advance if the visitor has any questions about the rules concerning the presence of a service animal or a service animal in training (as outlined in Section 5.3) at a specific event or in a specific location on campus.

7.  Appeals and Grievances
Any individual who feels that he or she has been unfairly denied the ability to bring or maintain an animal on University property, may contact the Office of Institutional Equity at equity@uconn.edu or (860) 486-2943 (Storrs and Regional Campuses); (860) 679-3563 (UConn Health) or refer to http://www.equity.uconn.edu  for further information.

8. Violations of Policy / Removal of Animal / Disruptive Animals
Access to University property may be restricted or revoked under the circumstances outlined below. Restrictions or exclusions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The University reserves the right to remove or exclude an approved animal from University property if:

  1. The animal poses a direct threat to health and safety
  2. The handler does not maintain control of the animal, including but not limited to during any interactions with other animals
  3. The presence of an animal fundamentally alters a University program
  4. Improper/Inadequate care of the animal is exhibited, including if the animal is not housebroken
  5. Damage or harm is caused by the animal
  6. The handler violates any of the responsibilities as outlined in Section 5.6 of this policy

If the presence of an animal poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others, the University reserves the right to remove or exclude an animal from University property. In such a situation, Public Safety may be contacted to assist in the removal of the animal. In particular, if a handler’s animal is disruptive in the classroom, the instructor may ask the handler and their animal to leave the classroom immediately. If a handler’s animal is disruptive in the workplace, the handler’s supervisor may ask the handler and their animal to leave the workspace immediately. If a handler’s animal is disruptive at a University event, the event organizer may ask the handler and their animal to leave the event immediately.

Questions about a disruptive animal should be directed to the following:

  • Center for Students with Disabilities (animals in the classroom):
  • Department of Human Resources (animals in the workplace):
    • Contact (860) 486-2036 or email hr@uconn.edu
    • UConn Health HR Contact: (860) 679-2426
  • UConn Health Contact (animals in practice areas, including JDH):
    • Contact appropriate medical staff (i.e. Supervisor or Nursing Manager)
  • Residential Life (animals in the residence halls):
  • Office of Institutional Equity (all other questions, including regarding visitors)
    • Contact (860) 486-2943 (Storrs and Regional Campuses); (860) 679-3563 (UConn Health) or email equity@uconn.edu

9. Exclusions

This policy does not apply to:

  • Fish in aquariums no larger than ten gallons as follows:
    • Within University housing, such aquariums are allowed without advance notice or permission;
    • Within employee workspaces, such aquariums are allowed only with the express advance, written authorization of the handler’s manager/supervisor. At any time, a manager may revoke approval for such an aquarium, requiring its immediate removal from the workspace; and
    • The handler has responsibility for maintaining the aquarium in a clean and sanitary manner and for any damage caused by the aquarium. Animals other than fish are not allowed in such aquariums;
  • University-maintained fish in aquariums of any size located in waiting rooms or other public areas of UConn Health facilities and maintained by UConn Health, including John Dempsey Hospital and University Medical Group;
  • Animals used in Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approved University research, education or testing Animals used in classes on campus, based on requests by faculty for such use. Such requests may be granted only upon showing that the presence of the animal is for a bona fide educational purpose, and such purpose is clearly delineated on the course syllabus as a central topic in class.  Prior permission must be obtained from the academic unit head, the dean and/or the Provost’s Office and the IACUC;
  • Requests for the presence of animals within controlled spaces for non-educational purposes must be fully reviewed and approved by the Provost’s Office or the Vice President of Student Affairs, or their designees. Such requests may be approved only upon a showing that there exists a well-developed program with defined parameters, to be administered by appropriately trained staff;
  • Animals used in police, search and rescue operations on University property;
  • Animals trained for and used in a clinical therapeutic setting on campus, such as a counseling center;
  • Appearances by the official mascot of the University and/or official mascots of other institutions as approved by event organizers; and
  • Animals accompanying individuals in clinical practice or patient care areas at UConn Health pursuant to the UConn Health Clinical Practice Procedures Regarding Animals.

Any questions pertaining to this policy may be addressed to the Office of Institutional Equity at equity@uconn.edu or (860) 486-2943.