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Policies and Procedures

8.09 Animal Control


To maintain campus health, safety and security standards for animals allowed on campus and to permit services that animals provide to faculty, staff, students, the institution and the community and to identify the distinction between those animals permitted on and those excluded from campus.

  1. Institutional Property:  University of Northern Iowa property including administrative offices, academic buildings, residential property and outdoor campus spaces.
  2. Pet:  An animal kept for pleasure or companionship.
  3. Service Animal:  Any dog that is 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.  Other species of animals are not service animals for the purposes of this definition, except as specified by law. 
  4. Support animal:  Any animal utilized for emotional support, well-being, comfort or companionship by individuals with disabilities
  5. Partner/Requesting Individual:  The person with a disability who utilizes a service or support animal as an accommodation.
  6. Leash:  Any strap, chain, rope or similar device five (5) feet in length or shorter, held by a person capable of controlling the animal.
Policy Statement:

To protect public health and safety, the University does not permit animals in its buildings.  Service animals are allowed.  For further clarification on service animals, see below.  Also, a person shall not bring an animal onto university-owned or controlled property unless the animal is leashed.  Animals are not allowed at sporting events or on athletic and recreation fields.  Animals with a valid license and current vaccinations, under proper restraint and with their owners who are walking across campus and who do not enter buildings are allowed on university property.

Every person who is in control of an animal that is allowed to be on university owned or controlled property is responsible to immediately clean up after the animal, including the immediate removal of all waste. 

The following animals are allowed on University property subject to the following qualifications and conditions.

Service Animals:

The Department of Justice is explicit that the following animals are not considered service animals under Title II of the ADA:

  • Any animal besides dogs (a special provision references miniature horses)
  • Animals that serve solely to provide a crime deterrent effect; and
  • Emotional support, comfort or companion animals.

If an animal has been individually trained to perform work or tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability in addition to providing comfort or support, it may still be considered a “service animal”.

Service animals are allowed to accompany the service animal’s partner at all times and everywhere on University property as long as

  • The service animal has a current license tag and vaccinations;
  • The need for a service animal is documented with Student Disability Services or the Disability & Leave Coordinator in Human Resource Services for faculty and staff.   Visitors to campus who rely on a service animal do not need to have documentation of the need for a service animal, but they need to comply with all of the other requirements regarding service animals;
  • The service animal is under appropriate restraint and control of its partner at all times
  • The service animal does not cause immediate danger to the health or safety of other people on the University’s property; and
  • The care and supervision of the service animal is the sole responsibility of the service animal’s partner or owner

The work or tasks that the dog performs must be directly related to the person’s disability and can include a wide variety of services.

Working Animals:

Animals may be used in an academic course, as a demonstration animal, for law enforcement, rescue purposes, or under the direction of licensed mental health counselors and/or psychologists employed by the university for therapeutic purposes on site at the Counseling Center or in public spaces, as long as:

  • The animal has a current license tag and vaccinations;
  • The standards and practices associated with academic purposes are complied with;
  • The animal is under appropriate restraint and under appropriate control at all times; and
  • The animal does not cause immediate danger to the health or safety of other people or university property

Consistent with Iowa law, animals found within university facilities and not part of a university-sponsored program or project may be impounded.   If impoundment is necessary, the owner of the animal or its claimant will be personally responsible for all costs associated with reclaiming the animal.

An exception to this policy is provided for the University President’s residence and may be provided to other University employees who are required to reside on campus as a condition of employment.  In those instances, the applicable Division Vice President will determine if pets will be allowed in the employee’s residence.  The Department of Residence may also provide exceptions, as specified in Department of Residence rules; see


Violations of this policy should be brought to the attention of the Department of Public Safety. 

UNI Risk Manager, approved April 19, 2012
President’s Cabinet, approved June 18, 2012