Assistance Animal Owner/Handler Responsibilities

University of Mary Washington

 

The University of Mary Washington is not responsible for the supervision, cost, or care of assistance animals including service, comfort, therapy, support animals. Student owner/handler responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  1. The student owner is responsible for assuring that the animal does not unduly interfere with the routine activities of the residence hall or cause difficulties for students who reside there.
  2. The animal must never be let out of the residence hall room without being attended and under the control of the student owner/handler. This means the animal must be on a leash or in a carrier or cage. The student owner is liable for all actions of the animal and should be in total control and restraint of the animal at all times.
  3. The student owner must clean up all messes immediately. Any waste material, including litter, should be placed in a plastic bag and disposed of in an outside trash receptacle. Indoor trashcans should not be used for this purpose.
  4. Animals need to be well cared for, properly nourished, clean and hygienic. Animals must be in good health with annual checkups and must comply with all state and local licensure and vaccination requirements. Documentation of vaccinations and licensure are required if the student and animal reside in campus housing facilities.
  5. The animal must not be unduly disruptive or pose an immediate threat to others. The Director of Residence Life and Commuter Student Services, or his or her designee, shall be responsible for making such determinations about an animal’s conduct within the Residence Halls. The Dean of Student Life, University Police and Emergency Management, or their respective designee, shall be responsible for making such determinations about an animal’s conduct on all other University Property. If a decision is made that an animal has been unduly disruptive or poses an immediate threat to others, the animal must be removed immediately. The owner may appeal the decision to whichever unit made the decision to remove the animal. The appeal shall be in writing and delivered, as appropriate, to either the Director of Residence Life and Commuter Student Services or the Dean of Student Life, University Police and Emergency Management. A decision on the appeal will be made within three business days of receipt of the appeal and will be final.
  6. In the event that the Director of Residence Life and Commuter Student Services or the Dean of Student Life, University Police and Emergency Management, or their respective designee, determines that an animal should be removed from campus, including a residence hall, for disruptive behavior, provided the decision is not based on the animal posing an immediate threat or being unduly disruptive (see 5 above), the owner shall be given written notice to remove the animal within 48 hours. The owner will have 24 hours to respond. The response, if any, will be reviewed and a final decision made within the same 48 hour period. The decision of the Director of Residence Life and Commuter Student Services, or his or her designee, or the Dean of Student Life, University Police & Emergency Management, or their respective designee, shall be final.
  7. All liability for the actions of the animal (bites, scratches, running away, etc.) is the responsibility of the student owner. The University encourages owners to consider appropriate liability insurance.
  8. The student owner is responsible for taking all reasonable precautions to protect the property of the University and its residents.
  9. During periods when University residence halls are closed or the student owner/handler takes extended leave (more than 24 hours), the animal must be removed from the residence hall.
  10. If the owner resides in a residence hall, the owner will notify the Resident Life Professional-On-Call (POC) if the animal escapes. Specific directions regarding POC contact will be supplied at the time a student owner receives permission for bringing the animal on campus.
  11. Necessary precautions should be made for Facilities Management and other University personnel to enter the residence hall room when the student owner is not present. The animal must be caged or crated, or removed from the room, during the time that University personnel are in the room. The University is not liable if the animal escapes during one of these visits. All reasonable attempts will be made to inform the student of entry into the room prior to access.
  12. The animal must be either caged or crated, or removed from the room during emergency drills and situations. At no time will a student be permitted to re-enter a building during an emergency to retrieve the animal but every effort will be made to inform emergency personnel that the animal is present.
  13. The student owner of an assistance animal in a residence hall will provide to Residence Life and Commuter Student Services, the emergency contact information of an individual to who will be on call to care for the animal in the event the owner is unable to care for the animal or has to leave campus unexpectedly. In the event that the emergency contact can not be reached, the animal will be turned over to Animal Control authorities.
  14. Student owners of animals are solely responsible for any damage to University property caused by the animal. This shall include, after the owner vacates the premises, any cleaning outside that routinely done for any room. Cleaning services outside those routinely performed may include, but are not limited to, steam cleaning of all carpets and drapes, and abatement for fleas or other pests and odor. If furniture requires replacing, that also shall be the responsibility of the owner. Any such fees will be posted to the owner’s individual student account.
  15. For the purposes of supporting other students and accommodating their needs, the University will notify roommates and suitemates when an animal has been approved. The notification will involve what type of animal has been approved but not why the animal was approved.