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Policy 1330
Animals on University Property

Date of Current Revision: February 2013
Responsible Officer: Director of Public Safety

1. PURPOSE

This policy provides the rules and regulations concerning employees, affiliates, students and visitors bringing animals on university property.

2. AUTHORITY

The Board of Visitors has been authorized by the Commonwealth of Virginia to govern James Madison University. See Code of Virginia section 12-164.6;23-9.2:3. The board has delegated the authority to manage the university to the president.

3. DEFINITIONS

Handler
A person with a disability who is the owner and user of a service animal.

Pet
Any animal owned by an individual that is not trained or used as a service animal by that individual.

Service Animal
Any animal trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of and to accommodate the functional needs of an individual with a disability.

University property
For the purposes of this policy, university property includes all areas owned or controlled by the university, all job sites for university employees, all class sites for students, all event sites for university events and all other venues in which the university controls the site.

4. APPLICABILITY

This policy applies to all employees of the university, including instructional faculty, administrative and professional faculty, and classified staff; to all students; to all affiliates, alumni, volunteers, donors, business representatives, contractors and others having legitimate business on university property; and to all visitors to the university. It applies to all areas of the campus and all real property and vehicles owned or controlled by the university. It applies to all animals owned or controlled by an individual.

5. POLICY

5.1 Pets
All individuals on university property, including employees, affiliates, volunteers, students, business representatives, contractors and all visitors, are prohibited from bringing pets into buildings on university property. For students, see also Student Handbook Section J27-100.

5.2 Service Animals
A service animal is generally permitted to be on university property in any place where the animal's handler is permitted to be, although there are locations and activities on university property where all animals are prohibited for safety and health reasons. These areas may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Research and teaching laboratories (or other research facilities)
  • Mechanical rooms/Custodial closets
  • Areas where protective clothing is necessary
  • Areas where there is a danger to the Service Animal

5.3 Owners and Handlers
A service animal or pet must be personally supervised and the owner or handler must retain full control of the animal at all times while on university property. Animals may not be left unattended at any time on university property. Animals may not be tied or tethered to any university property, including but not limited to buildings, railings, bike racks, fire hydrants, fences, sign posts, benches and trees, and may not be left running loose.

Animals must not be allowed to disrupt or interfere with university activities, including but not limited to teaching, research, service or administrative activities. If the animal is unruly or disruptive, or if the owner or handler fails to maintain control of the animal, the owner or handler must regain control immediately or remove the animal from the university property. If the improper behavior continues or happens more than once, the owner or handler may be prohibited from bringing the animal onto university property.

The owner or handler is responsible for cleaning up any waste created by the animal and for all costs related to damages created by the animal. This includes fees for clean-up and disposal of animal waste or replacement and repair of university or other individuals' assets, including grounds, personal property and improvements. If the owner or handler fails to clean up after the animal or the animal causes damage to property, the owner or handler may be prohibited from bringing the animal onto university property.

6. PROCEDURES

6.1 Employees Requesting Permission for Service Animals
Employees, affiliates and all others performing work for the university who wish to bring service animals onto university property as an accommodation for a disability must request the university's permission to allow the presence of the service animal on university property. Permission will be granted only as an accommodation for a documented disability and must be arranged in advance through the employee's, affiliate's or volunteer's immediate supervisor, prior to bringing the animal onto university property. See Policy 1331, Disabilities and Reasonable Accommodations. The Department of Human Resources will assist the supervisor in determining whether the request represents a reasonable accommodation for a documented disability and should be granted.

6.2 Students Requesting Permission for Service Animals
Students who wish to bring service animals onto university property as an accommodation for a disability must request the university's permission to allow the presence of a service animal on university property. Permission will be granted only as an accommodation for a documented disability and must be arranged in advance through the Office of Disability Services prior to bringing the animal onto university property. See Policy 1331, Disabilities and Reasonable Accommodations. The Office of Disability Services will assist the various offices within the university, including housing, grounds, academic units, and others, in determining whether the request represents a reasonable accommodation for a documented disability and should be granted.

6.3 Visitors
Visitors, including alumni, event attendees, seminar participants, potential students and families on campus tours, vendors and other business visitors to the university property, and all other university property guests, are not required to receive permission from the university prior to bringing a service animal onto university property. Generally, a service animal owned by a visitor is allowed in any place where the handler is allowed to be. However, there are locations and events on campus where the presence of an animal, even a trained service animal, would interfere with the safe and normal operation of the university. The department or office the visitor wishes to visit, or the office sponsoring the event the visitor wishes to attend, should be contacted in advance if the visitor has any questions about the rules concerning the presence of a service animal at a specific event or in a specific location on campus. Questions may also be addressed to the Office of Equal Opportunity. See Policy 1331, Disabilities and Reasonable Accommodations. A visitor to the university who is accompanied by a service animal may be denied entrance to a specific event or location if the presence of the animal would interfere with the safe and normal operation of the university, would pose a risk to the animal or is otherwise not allowed.

7. RESPONSIBILITIES

An employee, affiliate, volunteer or contractor who is a service animal handler is responsible for obtaining approval and registering the service animal with the Department of Human Resources. A student who is a service animal handler is responsible for obtaining approval and registering the service animal with the Office of Disability Services.

All owners and handlers are responsible for controlling their animals, for cleaning up any waste created by the animal and for any damage caused by the animal on university property. The Department of Human Resources is responsible for processing requests from supervisors of employees, affiliates, volunteers and contractors to determine whether a request to bring a service animal onto the job site is a reasonable accommodation that addresses a documented disability and should be granted.

The Office of Disability Services is responsible for processing requests from students to determine whether a request to bring a service animal on university property is a reasonable accommodation that addresses a documented disability and should be granted.

The Office of Equal Opportunity is responsible for processing requests for information from visitors to the university wishing to bring service animals on university property.

The Risk Manager and the deans are responsible for processing requests for non-research animals used in classes.

Offices and departments sponsoring events on university property and hosting visitors on university property are responsible for processing requests for information concerning the presence of service animals at such events or in such offices or departments.

8. SANCTIONS

Sanctions will be commensurate with the severity and/or frequency of the offense and may include termination of employment, dismissal of a student, or banning a visitor or an animal from the university property.

Any animal found unattended in or on any university property may be impounded by the university police. 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.

9. EXCLUSIONS

This policy does not apply to fish or other aquatic animals in aquariums in housing units or offices on university property. However, the owner still has responsibility for the animals, for maintaining the aquarium in a clean and sanitary manner and for any damage caused by the presence of the animals or the aquarium.

This policy does not apply to animals used in approved university research. Non-research animals used in classes require prior permission from the dean and the Risk Manager.

This policy does not apply to animals used in police, search and rescue operations on university property.

This policy does not apply to animals trained for and used in a clinical therapeutic setting.

This policy does not apply to appearances by the official mascot of the university.

10. INTERPRETATION

The authority to interpret this policy rests with the President, and is generally delegated to the Director of Public Safety.

Previous version: February, 2012
Approved by the President: November, 2010