This policy regulates privately-owned animals, including pets, in university buildings and on university owned and controlled property. It governs animals not otherwise subject to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).
Animals Permitted on University Grounds
Animals are permitted on university grounds, unless an area is specifically signed as prohibited. No individual may tether an animal to any fence, tree, shrub, post, or other object located upon university property not designed for the purpose of securing animals. The prompt collection and disposal of animal waste is required.
Animals Permitted in University Buildings/Facilities
Individuals are prohibited from bringing any animal not listed below into any university building or on any university public transportation, at any time. If found, the animal and its handler will be asked to leave the building or public transportation immediately.
The following animals are permitted in university buildings/facilities under this policy, with specific limitations. Privately owned animals may also be subject to IACUC display protocols.
- service animals
- service animals in training (with proper documentation)
- support animals (with prior approval from the campus disability services office)
- therapy animals, on days when engaged in university-sponsored therapeutic programming (with certification from PAWS program)
- animals brought for treatment to the veterinary medical facilities
- animals housed and treated in animal hospitals or shelters designed and constructed to house animals
- animals used in the delivery of instruction, during the period of instruction and in the period reasonably necessary to prepare for and conclude the instructional period
- animals brought to animal-related university-sponsored events, during the duration of the event
- animals housed in live-in professional staff apartments (when permitted by campus housing), family student housing (when permitted by campus housing), university-sanctioned pet programs in a residence hall, or Eastcliff event center and residence (Twin Cities campus)
- animals used in university-sponsored research
- animals used to carry out functional responsibilities of a university department
- animals used in support of law enforcement or disaster recovery activities
- livestock in designated animal holding facilities
- animals recognized as official NCAA mascots or participating in ceremonies in athletic venues
Responsibility for Animal Conduct
Any individual who brings an animal on university property is responsible for the behavior and actions of the animal, health and safety of individuals in proximity of or impacted by the animal, and the health and cleanliness of the campus environment. Animals on university property must have all current vaccinations and be licensed as required by the municipality where the animal is primarily housed.
Any individual, owning or having under their control any animal, may only bring such animal upon university property with a leash or lead suitably attached to the animal and held by the individual responsible. When a leash is not an appropriate means of control, an animal must be secured in a cage. An exception is made for any Service Animal who cannot do their work when leashed or tethered.
The university will seek restitution for any animal-related damage to university-controlled property, facilities, or grounds. The cleanup, repair, or replacement cost of damaged property is the sole responsibility of the owner of the animal that caused the damage. This applies to all animals, and is not limited to pets, service animals, and support animals.
If any animal is or appears to be unaccompanied or a stray, or if the owner cannot be found or determined upon investigation by the campus/city police or safety officers, the animal will be impounded.
Service and Support Animals
A Service Animal may accompany its owner on university grounds and in university buildings at all times, except under rare circumstances where the animal’s health or safety may be compromised. Service Animals are not required to wear any special type of harness or garment, and must be under the handler’s control at all times. In situations where it is not obvious that the animal is a Service Animal, university officials may ask the following two qualifying questions:
- Is the Service Animal required because of a person’s disability?
- What work or task has the Service Animal been trained to perform?
It is a misdemeanor under Minnesota Statute 609.833 to misrepresent an unqualified animal as a Service Animal.
Support Animals are permitted in university housing (or on university grounds in accordance with the provisions of this policy) and limited to the room of the student who has been granted an accommodation. In order to live with a Support Animal in university housing, a resident must obtain prior authorization from the campus disability services office and the campus housing office. Each campus housing office may develop specific procedures and guidelines for Support Animals.
Residents who are negatively affected by the presence of a Support Animal should contact their campus housing office. Campus housing and the campus disability services office will follow up with the residents involved in order to determine whether there is a need for further accommodations or other changes. The university is committed to ensuring that the needs of all residents are met and will determine how to resolve any conflicts or problems as expeditiously as possible.
Support Animals approved in university housing are not generally permitted in other indoor public areas, private offices, classrooms, labs, etc. In all instances where a University community member or guest seeks to bring a Support Animal to campus, the individual must engage in an interactive process with the campus disability services office and any others affected by the request to determine the reasonability of the accommodation prior to bringing the animal to campus.
The College of Veterinary Medicine on the Twin Cities campus has exception to administer an “animals in the workplace” policy in university-owned buildings assigned to the College of Veterinary Medicine. Animals approved under this collegiate policy are not permitted in buildings or spaces that are not assigned to the College of Veterinary Medicine.
Where aligned with their clinical practice, the M Health Clinics and Surgery Center on the Twin Cities campus may operate with different guidelines for Service and Support Animals.
Reason for Policy
Service and Support Animals serve an important role for individuals with apparent and non-apparent disabilities. It is important that individuals who rely on these animals, as well as the greater University community, understand their rights and responsibilities under the law.
The presence of animals on university property and in university buildings can have an adverse effect on the normal functions of the university by creating unsanitary conditions or health concerns (allergy, waste, bites, etc.), disrupting daily operations (excessive noise, unattended animals, individual conflict), or causing damage to grounds, buildings, and property.