Animals on Campus Policy – Student, Campus Residents and Visitors

Applies To:

Month/Year Posted: 
December, 2017
Policy Number: 

Responsible Offices: University Police Department, Student Disability Resource Center, Human Resources, Risk Management & Safety Services (see Section I)

Applies to: This policy applies to all students, campus residents and visitors on University Property.

Purpose of the Policy

The purpose of this policy is to provide equal access and reasonable accommodation for students, campus residents, and visitors with disabilities and to protect the University community from hazards associated with or caused by animals, both domestic and wild. The University recognizes that individuals may bring their Domestic, Service, or Assistive Animals to campus and that Wild or Feral Animals may use campus grounds as their habitat. This policy is intended to optimize the safety and health of students, employee's visitors, and animals as it relates to animals on University property. This policy is applicable to any students, campus residents, and visitors in any building, or on any property owned or controlled by the University. This policy excludes animals associated with research or teaching purposes. (See Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) for the Policy on Use of Animals in Teaching and Research). This policy also excludes Service or Assistive Animals brought to campus by University employees (including faculty, staff, auxiliary employees, and student employees) in their capacity as employees. (See [employee policy].)

I. Responsible Offices

The Humboldt State University Police Department is responsible for code enforcement of California and University regulations.

The Student Disability Resources Center (SDRC) is responsible for providing support services to students with impairments necessitating the use of a Service Animal on campus or the authorization of an Emotional Support animal accommodation in residential living spaces.

Risk Management is responsible for the approval and regulation of animals brought to campus in connection with special events and for providing the final determination on the risk, potential hazard, potential for property damage, liability exposure, or potential for nuisance of any animal on campus grounds.


II. Definitions

Animal Nuisances: Any animal which has committed any one or more of any of the following acts is deemed to be a nuisance:

- An infliction of physical injury upon any person where the person is conducting themselves lawfully.
- Threatening behavior toward any person where the person is conducting themselves lawfully and which occurs in such circumstances as to reasonably cause the person to fear for their physical safety.
- The utterance of barks or cries which are loud, frequent and continued over a period of time.
- An unprovoked infliction of physical injury upon any other animal.
- The damaging of University property or the personal property of some person other than the owner or keeper of the animal.
- Any fecal matter deposited by the animal and not removed immediately by the animal's owner.
- The dumping of trashcans or the spreading of trash.
- The chasing of pedestrians, bicycles or vehicles

Domestic Animal: An animal that has been trained or adapted to living in a human environment. Such animals include, but are not limited to, dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, fish, and other types of household pets.

Feral Animal: A once-Domestic Animal that has reverted to an untamed state.

University Property: Any land, buildings or facilities owned, leased, or operated by the University and its affiliated auxiliary organizations.

Campus Grounds: The land around University buildings and facilities.
Campus Buildings: Buildings or facilities that are University property.
Residential Living Space: Residential building or facilities within which people reside.

Wild Animal: A non-domesticated animal living in its natural habitat.

Note: The following definitions provide distinctions between Emotional Support and Service Animals as defined by federal and state law. These laws are evolving; the intention of these definitions is to be consistent with those laws.

Service Animal: A dog (or miniature horse) that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act and California Code of Regulations. A service animal does not need to be formally trained or to be certified that it has been trained.

Emotional Support Animal: A companion animal that a licensed mental health provider has determined provides benefit for a resident on campus with a disability.

 Table 1: Campus Spaces and Permitted Animals

Campus GroundsCampus BuildingsResidential Living Spaces

Domestic Animal (section V)

Service Animal (section III)

Emotional Support Animal (section IV)

Service Animal (section III)Service Animal (section III)
Resident on Campus

Domestic Animal (section V)

Service Animal (section III)

Emotional Support Animal (section IV)

Service Animal (section III)

Service Animal (section III)

Emotional Support Animal (section IV)


Domestic Animal (section V)

Service Animal (section III)

Emotional Support Animal (section IV)

Service Animal (section III)Service Animal (section III)

 Policy Details

III. Service Animals

Animals may not enter any campus buildings with the exception of Service and Emotional Support Animals as set forth herein.

Service Animals are permitted to accompany any student or visitor with a disability anywhere on University Property, except in areas and situations where it is unsafe to do so or where the presence of the animal fundamentally alters the nature of the service, program, or activity. Moreover, in accordance with California Civil Code § 54.2, any student or visitor with a disability who is training a Service Animal or any student or visitor licensed to train Service Animals for use by a person with a disability may take the Service Animal, for the purpose of training them as a Service Animal, anywhere a Service Animal is permitted to be on University Property, as set forth in this policy. If personal protective equipment (PPE) is required of personnel in teaching and research laboratories, then service animals entering laboratories must be similarly protected depending on the PPE requirements of the area. Use of a Service Animal on University Property may not be challenged except if the use of the animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of other persons, or if the presence of the Service Animal will result in a fundamental alteration of the service, program, or activity involved.

If the purpose of a Service Animal is apparent, asking the individual using the animal any questions about the use of the animal is inappropriate. However, questions about accommodations surrounding the use of the Service Animal, such as seating of or breaks for the animal, are appropriate.

If it is not clear that a Service Animal is needed for a disability, only two questions may be asked of an individual with a Service Animal:

1. Is the animal required because of disability?
2. What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?

Service Animals must be on a leash and/or under the control of the animal's handler at all times. A Service Animal handler does not have to use a leash if a) the handler is unable because of their disability, b) if using a leash would harm the handler, or c) if the animal must perform a task without use of a leash. In any of these cases, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.

Although strongly encouraged, a Service Animal is not required to wear a collar, tag, vest, or other identifying equipment indicating that it is a trained Service Animal. Service Animals must be licensed and fully inoculated, with the burden of proof on the animal user.

While on campus, Service Animals are expected to be free from offensive odors and to display reasonable behavior appropriate to the educational environment, including staying off furniture. If the animal exhibits unacceptable behavior, the owner is expected to employ proper training techniques and correct the situation. Service Animals with hygiene or behavioral issues may be denied access to the University.

IV. Emotional Support Animals for Residents on Campus

Emotional Support Animals (ESA) are recognized by the Fair Housing Act and California Fair Employment & Housing Act as a reasonable disability accommodation within campus housing only.

As a disability accommodation, a resident student requesting an ESA must meet with the Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) to determine eligibility through a review of appropriate documentation from a licensed mental health provider. ESAs for students are not recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act and are therefore not permitted in other university buildings except for the one in which the student resides.

A resident employee requesting an ESA must meet with the appropriate Human Resources (HR) office to determine eligibility through a review of appropriate documentation from a licensed mental health provider. ESAs for employees (acting in their capacity as employees, rather than as residents) are permitted in other university buildings with appropriate approval as outlined in Section III "Service and Assistive Animals" in the workplace.

Once eligibility is established and the ESA recommendation is authorized to the requesting student, the resident must meet with the appropriate Housing personnel to review and sign residential housing agreement forms.

Maintaining the health and therapeutic value of an ESA is a full time responsibility. Residents must ensure the animal is up to date on required shots and licensure (if necessary), is groomed and free from offensive odors, displays habits appropriate to living in a residential living space and does not represent a danger to the health and safety of others. General relief for larger animals must be in designated spaces and the resident is responsible for the appropriate collection and disposal of all fecal matter. ESAs are required to be caged, or kenneled whenever the resident is not present in their living space.

V. Domestic Animals

Domestic Animals other than Service Animals are not allowed in any campus buildings. Domestic Animals must be under control while on any campus grounds, restrained by a leash that does not exceed six (6) feet in length and in the possession of the animal's handler.

Any Domestic Animal brought to campus must be licensed and fully inoculated, with the burden of proof on the owner.

Fecal matter deposited by any Domestic Animal brought to campus must be removed immediately by the animal's owner or handler.

Owners or handlers may not feed their Domestic Animals on campus grounds.

Domestic Animals found tethered, unattended or abandoned may be impounded in accordance with all applicable law and regulations. Domestic Animals may be confined in vehicles parked on campus for a reasonable period of time. However the animal must not be endangered and must not endanger others or create a nuisance.

VI. Wild or Feral Animals

Wild or Feral Animals that are not a risk and do not represent a hazard, cause property damage, or create a nuisance, and that do not require human intervention, will be allowed to inhabit the campus grounds.

Wild or Feral Animals that are a potential risk, represent a hazard, cause property damage, create a nuisance, or otherwise pose a potential conflict for humans will be regulated, controlled, and relocated in accordance with all applicable laws, regulations, and best practices.

Prohibited human intervention includes, but is not limited to, feeding, building of shelters, and injection of medication.

VII. Other Animals

Approval must be obtained in advance from Risk Management for non-Service Animals or non-ESAs to be brought on campus for a singular event involving the display or demonstration of specialized skills or natural behaviors, or any animal used for instructionally related activities outside of regularly scheduled classes. Some examples are (but not limited to): animals used in theater productions and visiting comfort dogs during finals week.

VIII. References

- Residence Life and You Handbook
- IACUC polices
- HSU Landscape Design Guidelines and Standards
- California Education Code §89031
- California Civil Code §54.1 and §54.2
- California Penal Code §374.4 and §597a
- California Code of Regulations §11065 and §11069
- Title V Article 9, ADA Title 3, §36.302
- Code of Federal Regulations 28 CFR §35.104 and §136
- (Service Animals in the Classroom)

Service Animal Fact Sheet


All changes must be listed chronologically in the format below, including all edits and reviews. Note when the policy name or number changes. Note if an edit or revision date is exclusively for the policy section or the procedure section:

Issued:      10/2008 - Humboldt State University Service Animal Policy (P08-02)
Revised:    06/2011 - Humboldt State University Service Dog Policy (EM:P11-05)
Edited:      11/14/2017 – Approved by University Senate
Reviewed: 11/15/2017 – Reviewed, edited and approved by CSU General Counsel
Approved: 12/7/2017 – Policy #P17-09 Approved by President