Texas Tech University: Operating Policy for Animals on Campus

OperatingPolicyand Procedure



OP ______:    Animals on Campus

DATE:           March 1, 2014

PURPOSE:Thepurposeofthis OperatingPolicy/Procedure(OP)is to recognize that owners of Domestic Animals may desire to bring those animals to the campus; users of Service Animals or Service Animals in Training may find it necessary to bring those animals on campus; and Feral or Wild Animals may select the campus landscape as their habitat. In consideration of the personal safety and well-being of the Texas Tech University community, and in accordance with applicable state and federal laws, this Policy establishes requirements for accessibility, behavior, and treatment of animals on campus.


REVIEW:     ThisOPwillbereviewedin March of eachyearbythe associate vice president of research integrity (AVPRI), the assistant vice president for Operations, the managing director for University Housing and the Texas Tech Chief of Police. Substantive revisions will be forwarded to the vicepresidentforadministrationandfinanceandchieffinancialofficer.



1.      General Purpose


Domestic and wild animals are not permitted in University buildings, except for police dogs, search and rescue dogs, service animals in training, service animals used by individuals with disabilities, animals for which permission has been granted by OP 61.38, and animals used in research or demonstration as part of a University program. Owners of service animals must obtain permission from the Office of Services to Students with Disabilities prior to entering University buildings.


  1. Definitions


  1. Domestic Animal. Those species of animals that normally and customarily share human habitat and are normally dependent on humans for food and shelter, including dogs, cats, and other common domestic animals, but not including feral or wild animals as defined below. Service Animals and Service Animals in Training are not considered Domestic Animals for the purpose of this Policy.



  1. Feral Animal. A once-domesticated animal that has reverted to an untamed state.


  1. Service Animal. An animal that is trained to perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The tasks may include, but are not limited to, guiding a person who is visually impaired or blind, alerting a person who is deaf or hard of hearing, pulling a wheelchair, assisting with mobility or balance, alerting or protecting a person who is having a seizure, retrieving objects, or performing other special tasks. A service animal is not a pet.


The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) provides that businesses and other entities that serve the public must allow people with disabilities to bring their Service Animals into all areas of the facility where customers or other members of the public are normally allowed to go. (For additional information, please refer to OP 34.22)


  1. Service Animals in Training. An animal in training to become a Service Animal is an animal accompanied by a person who is training the Service Animal and the animal is wearing a collar and leash, harness, or cape that identifies the animal as a Service Animal in Training.


  1. Emotional Support Animal (or “Comfort Animal”). An animal selected or prescribed to an individual with a disability by a healthcare or mental health professional to play a significant part in a person’s treatment, e.g., in alleviating the symptoms of that individual’s disability. An emotional support animal does not assist a person with a disability with activities of daily living, and does not accompany a person with a disability at all times. An emotional support animal is not a “Service Animal”.
  2. Stray Animals. Any domesticated animal on campus that is not under physical restraint, i.e., leashed or caged, whether accompanied by a person or not.


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


  1. Building. University controlled, leased, or owned structure.


  1. Handler. Individual who brings an animal or service animal into a University building or onto University property. The handler may also be the animal’s owner.


  1. Real property. University controlled, leased, or owned land.


  1. Restrained. Physical confinement, or under competent voice control when an animal is engaged in a recognized animal activity or form of training requiring that it not be physically confined.


  1. Domestic Animals


  1. Responsibilities


    Any faculty, staff, student or community member who wishes to bring an animal other than an animal covered by OP 61.38 (police dogs, service animals, etc.) onto campus is subject to the following responsibilities and restrictions:


    Animals in Texas Tech Buildings, please refer to OP 61.38.


    Evidence must be available upon request that, in the case of an adult dog, the dog has received obedience training.


Dogs must be kept on a leash in all areas of the University except during approved events for which it is necessary that the animal not be restrained by a leash, training classes, or when the dog is contained in a crate or cage.


A valid rabies tag must be worn at all times by any dog on university property.


Fecal matter deposited by animals on University property must be removed immediately by the owner of the animal depositing such. Any damage, staining, discoloration, odor, or other result of the animal’s waste deposit will be repaired or resolved to bring affected area back to University standards. The owner of the animal is responsible for all costs necessary to effect repairs.


All animals brought onto University grounds must be licensed and fully inoculated in accordance with Lubbock County regulations, if such licensing is required by Lubbock County, with the burden of proving licensure and inoculation status on the owner/handler.


Animals are not permitted in flower gardens/beds or fountains.


Pets, with the exception of fish (up to 5 gallon tank) are not allowed to visit or be kept in residence hall rooms.


  1. Restrictions


    Individuals are not allowed to bring wild animals or animals that are not domesticated onto university property is prohibited (OP 61.38), unless otherwise covered with OP 61.38.


    Abandon domestic animals or relocating wild animals onto University property.


    Remove or tamper with any animal trap or other monitoring device set by the Department of Environmental Health and Safety or other authorized agency is prohibited.


    Remove dead animals from campus without approval from the Department of Environmental Health & Safety and/or Texas Tech Police Department.


  2. Regulations


    If any aspect or circumstance of the condition, health, or behavior of any animal on campus is deemed by the University to be a threat to the health or safety of any member of the campus community or to any other animal, then that animal may be removed from campus in any manner deemed necessary by University officials. Such action may be taken even if the animal posing a threat would otherwise be permitted on campus under this Policy. Animals on campus whose condition, health, or behavior appears to present a threat to the health or safety of any member of the campus community or to any other animal should be reported to the Texas Tech Police Department.


    Disruption of the University education process, administrative process, or other University function by any animal will require that the animal be removed from University property immediately by the owner or handler.


    The owner of any animal found in any university facility where animals are not allowed will be required to remove the animal immediately. Failure to comply with this request will result in the animal being impounded. Any animal causing a nuisance will be subject to impoundment and the owner may be cited under city of Lubbock ordinances. Owners of impounded animals will be held responsible for payment of any impound and/or license fees required to secure the release of their animal(s).


Owners of animals on university property shall be liable for the expense of all damages caused by the animal(s).


No animal shall be maintained overnight in any University building which is not designated as approved housing (e.g. vivaria) for the animal. Research animal housing can be approved through the Institute for Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). (Please refer to OP 74.11 for additional information)


Unattended animals found secured or restrained outside a University building will be removed by University Police or by the City of Lubbock Animal Control. The presence of any animal in any motor vehicle without proper food, water, ventilation, or subjected to extreme temperatures that could affect its health or safety, will be reported to the City of Lubbock Animal Control


Sighting of injured or potentially dangerous wild animals (e.g. Opossums, skunks, coyotes) on University property should be reported to the Texas Tech Police Department and/or the Environmental Health and Safety Department. Wild animals threatening other animals or humans should be reported to the Texas Tech Police Department immediately.


For removal of carcasses found on University property, during regular business hours (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday) contact the Environmental Health and Safety Department (742-3876), and during evening and weekend hours contact the Emergency Maintenance Office (742-3328).


Horses shall not be ridden on any campus property that is developed or landscaped, unless prior approval has been granted by the appropriate office (i.e. the mascot).


Stray animals should be reported immediately to the Texas Tech Police Department. Stray animals on campus grounds or in buildings will be turned over to the City of Lubbock Animal Control.


  1. Service and Search & Rescue


If an individual’s need for a Service Animal and the qualifications of the animal are not obvious, the individual may be asked: (a) whether the animal is required because of a disability; and (b) what work or task(s) the animal has been individually trained to perform.


Individuals with disabilities shall be permitted to be accompanied by their Service Animals in all areas of the University’s grounds and facilities where members of the public, participants in services, programs or activities, or invitees are allowed to go. (Please refer to OP 34.22)


A Service Animal shall be under the control of its handler. A service animal shall have a harness, leash, or other tether, unless either the handler is unable because of a disability to use a harness, leash, or other tether, or the use of a harness, leash or other tether would interfere with the service animal’s safe, effective performance of work or tasks, in which case the service animal must be otherwise under the handler’s control (e.g., voice control, signals, or other effective means).


If a Service Animal is properly excluded under the foregoing provision, the individual with a disability shall be given the opportunity to participate in the service, program, or activity without having the Service Animal on the premises.


The University is not responsible for the care or supervision of a Service Animal. Accordingly, if a person with a disability remains on the premises after his or her Service Animal is properly excluded, it is that person’s responsibility to make arrangements for the animal’s care and supervision.


Search and Rescue animals may accompany its handler onto campus grounds and, if necessary, into campus facilities to assist in search and rescue operations.


  1. Feral and Wild Animals

Feral or wild animals that are not a risk and do not represent a hazard, cause property damage, or create a public nuisance, and that do not require human intervention, may inhabit the campus grounds.


Feral or wild animals that are a potential risk, represent a hazard, cause property damage, create a nuisance, or otherwise pose a potential threat to the health or safety of humans will be regulated, controlled, and/or humanely relocated in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.


Feral or wild animals may not be brought into campus buildings.


No person may do anything to attract animals to campus nor may any person feed or set out food or water for animals on campus, or engage in any similar human interventions. The SGA sponsored, Lubbock registered feral cat colony is regulated under OP       .


If an animal is exhibiting dangerous or destructive behavior or posing an immediate threat, please notify the Texas Tech Police Department immediately. The Texas Tech Police Department will monitor the animal until Texas Wildlife Control or other appropriate parties are contacted and arrive on the scene. If the animal is deemed a threat and immediate intervention is required, the Texas Tech Police Department may elect to remove the threat.


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