Office of Human Resources

Animals on University Property

Animals are prohibited from entering all buildings on Utica University property. Pets are permitted on the grounds (i.e., outdoor areas) of the main campus, providing that they are leashed and/or under the control of their owners at all times. Pets, whether they are leashed or not, are not allowed on the University’s athletic playing surfaces. All owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets. Non-domesticated animals, except for those normally found on campus (e.g., squirrels, chipmunks, geese, etc.), are not allowed on University property.
Exceptions to this policy include:
  • Service and emotional support animals as defined below
  • Pets that are permitted by the University’s residence hall policies and procedures for both students and live-in professional staff members
  • Animals performing official law enforcement functions
  • Animals that have been acquired by the University for purpose of research and other academic pursuits
  • Animals that have the approval of the Provost or Vice President for Student Affairs to participate in University-sanctioned events
In addition, the University recognizes that on occasion, an employee may need to bring his or her pet to work due to the inability to make alternative arrangements for care. These instances should be rare, and the University reserves the right to ban pets that are disruptive or that threaten the safety or comfort of members of the University community and/or its guests. 
The University further recognizes that there may be times when faculty members may maintain teaching/demonstration animals in their offices in order to provide a secure environment for the animals.
This policy applies to all members of the Utica University community and to all visitors to University-owned property, including family members, alumni, vendors, neighbors, and other guests. This policy also applies to pets, service animals, and emotional support animals.
This policy is designed to protect the health and safety of all who live, study, work, visit, and conduct business at Utica University. This policy is also designed to protect University property and ensure a level of professionalism within University offices. Animals can pose a threat for those with allergies, create excessive noise, bite, and transmit disease (fleas, ticks, viruses, parasites, etc.). In addition to potential health hazards, animals can be unpredictable, have uncontrollable behavior, contribute to accidents and/or the disruption of others, and cause damage to University property. At the same time, Utica University recognizes the important role it plays within the community, and wishes to accommodate neighbors and other visitors who enjoy walking with their dogs and other pets on the University’s main campus, providing that those animals do not present a threat or nuisance to others.
Pets: Animals that are domesticated and kept for the enjoyment of their owners.
Service Animal: According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (as revised 2010), a “service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.” The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability. A service animal may reside with its student-owner in the residence hall when that student-owner is a person with a disability who needs the use of a service animal. The provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship does not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.
Service Dog in Training: According to New York Agriculture and Management Law Section 108, “service dog means any dog that has been or is being individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, provided that the dog is or will be owned by such person or that person’s parent, guardian or other legal representative.” A service dog in training under this particular situation will have the same status as a service animal. 
Emotional Support Animal: According to the Fair Housing Act, individuals with a disability may be entitled to keep an emotional support animal as “a reasonable accommodation in housing facilities.” The emotional support animal would “provide emotional support to persons with disabilities who have a disability-related need for such support.” In order to qualify for such an accommodation, the emotional support animal “must be necessary to afford the individual an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling or to participate in the housing service or program. Further, there must be a relationship, or nexus, between the individual’s disability and the assistance the animal provides.”
University Property: Includes all University-owned, University-leased, and University-contracted property located both on and off the main campus, and to all the space and buildings encompassed thereby.
Animals within Residence Halls
Students are not permitted to keep pets in the residence halls. However, with the approval of all roommates, small fish tanks are permitted.
Live-in staff members may maintain up to two cats or one dog in their campus residences. Such staff members must comply with the University’s Pet Ownership Agreement.
A service animal may reside with its student-owner in the residence hall when that student-owner is a person with a disability who needs the use of a service animal.
Students with disabilities who want to request an accommodation to have an emotional support animal in the residence hall should contact the Director of Learning Services, and follow the process for documentation and determination of eligibility found in the Office of Learning Services Student Handbook.
Service Animals
Students with disabilities who will use a service animal on campus should contact the Director of Learning Services for further information. Employees with disabilities who will use a service animal on campus should contact the Director of Human Resources for further information.
University-Sanctioned Events
For the reasons listed above, Utica University typically does not sponsor events that involve the participation of animals. External inquiries regarding such events should be directed to the Office of Corporate and Professional Programs. Internal inquiries should be directed to the Office of Academic Affairs or the Office of Student Affairs. The Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost shall have ultimate authority regarding such requests.
For the comfort and safety of other members of the University community, employees should bring their pets to campus only when necessary. Employees should consult with others in their office before bringing their pets to campus, and should not bring their pets if others are uncomfortable or have asked that pets not be present. To the greatest extent possible, pets should be confined to their owners’ offices until taken outdoors. It is the sole responsibility of the employee to clean up after the pet, to ensure it is up to date with all immunizations, and to ensure that the pet is not a threat or nuisance to other members of the University community. Failure to adhere to this policy will result in permanent revocation of the employee’s ability to bring his or her pet to work.
Note that pet-related restrictions at University facilities other than the main campus may apply.
Pets on University Grounds
In an effort to maintain friendly relationships with neighbors, people outside the University community are welcome to walk their pets on Utica University property as long as they maintain absolute control of and clean up after the pet. Pets are prohibited from entering University-owned buildings and from walking on athletic fields. Complaints regarding pets that threaten or annoy members of the University community and its guests will be immediately investigated by the Office of Campus Safety, and the University reserves the right to request that owners remove their pets from University property.
Reporting Violations
Violations to this policy should be reported to one of the following:
Office of Campus Safety (315) 792-3046
Office of Human Resources (315) 792-3276
Persons who bring an animal on campus are responsible for the animal’s behavior and actions, including proper disposal of waste and meeting local licensing, vaccination, and leash requirements. An animal may be banned from campus when its behavior poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others, or when the animal’s actions are unruly, disruptive, or destructive.  Campus safety officers or other University officials may be called upon to make this determination.
It is the responsibility of the Offices of Campus Safety and Human Resources to investigate complaints regarding animals on University property.
Enforcement of Utica University policies is the responsibility of the office or offices listed in the “Resources/Questions” section of each policy. The responsible office will contact the appropriate authority regarding faculty or staff members, students, vendors, or visitors who violate policies.
Utica University acknowledges that University policies may not anticipate every possible issue that may arise. The University therefore reserves the right to make reasonable and relevant decisions regarding the enforcement of this policy. All such decisions must be approved by an officer of the University (i.e. President, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Executive Vice President and Chief Advancement Officer, Vice President for Financial Affairs, or Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel).
Any student with questions about this policy should contact the Office of Learning Services at (315)-792-3032 or reference the Office of Learning Services Student Handbook at www.utica.edu/learning.
Employees with questions about this policy should contact the Office of Human Resources at (315) 792-3276 or via e-mail at hr@utica.edu.
Visitors with questions about this policy should contact the Office of Campus Safety at (315) 792-3046.
Please note that other Utica University policies may apply or be related to this policy. To search for related policies, use the Keyword Search function of the online policy manual.
Effective Date: 11/01/2013
Promulgation Date: 12/20/2013

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