According to a study of pet policies in over 100 institutions across the country, around 96% of colleges don’t allow pets on their campuses. Nevertheless, a few US schools still permit some sort of animal companionship on-campus. However, keeping pets comes with lots of regulations and guidelines. Today’s article explores everything a student needs to know before owning a pet on campus.
Service animals and emotional supports are legal
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), pet owners can keep service animals on-campus and in dorm rooms. It includes dogs and miniature horses, specially trained to provide services to a disabled person. In this case, the college may ask for proof of a person’s disability, a demonstration, and proper training documentation for the particular service animal.
According to another act called The Fair Housing Act (FHA), students can keep emotional support animals in campus housing facilities in both private and public universities. For example, emotional support animals can alleviate the symptoms of an individual’s disability, such as anxiety disorders and panic attacks.
A few institutions may limit the breed of service animals under ADA. As a result, certain fierce dog breeds are excluded from the service animals’ list. Additionally, some colleges impose restrictions on the dog’s weight. For example, a fully grown dog must weigh under 40 pounds to be permitted. On the other hand, FHA doesn’t limit the breed of service animals. However, any damage to the household caused by the animal is considered a payable penalty for the pet owner.
No trouble to others
Keeping pets can be difficult on-campus, as universities can immediately remove them from campus if they are found guilty of disrupting educational and administrative operations within the school property. So, it is imperative to honor others’ boundaries and respect their rights to personal space.
Pet policies in US colleges
Here is a compilation of essential pointers on pet policies from over 1000 leading US colleges, including Ivy League institutions. Typically, a majority of academic organizations in the US allow amphibians such as frogs, reptiles like lizards and non-venomous snakes, and small caged pets like hamsters and chinchillas. Only a few permit cats or dogs. Each college has its separate guidelines regarding pets, which do not fall into the category of service or assistance animals.
Let’s explore some standard rules in the US colleges:
- Registration: In some cases, the pet owner may need to register the pet with the housing office.
- Pet deposit: Some colleges require a pet deposit to allow the students to keep their animal friends.
- Written permission from roommates: To keep a pet in a shared dorm room, the student may need to take the roommates’ consent.
- Single room pet owners: Some institutions let residents keep pets only if they live in a single room without roommates.
- Vaccination and other formalities: Most colleges require the pets to be housebroken and up-to-date on their vaccinations. For dogs and cats, pet owners may have to spray their companions. Additionally, the size of the pet’s cage or tank may be restricted.
- Prohibited animals: Particular dog breeds which exhibit aggressive or territorial behavior may be banned in colleges. Apart from that, carnivorous fishes, poisonous snakes, and bugs are also forbidden.
Even if the college doesn’t allow pets in dorm rooms, students always have the option to rent an apartment and keep their pets without concerns.
Ensuring safety and protection for your little companions
You can opt for pet insurance and get your pet’s veterinary bills covered. Like other insurance programs, pet insurance will cover expensive veterinary procedures partly or entirely. On average you will have to pay a premium of $46 per month to ensure the medical expenses for your loved pets. Pet insurances transfer the economic risk of having to pay all medical fees in exchange for spending on a monthly premium. As a result, in medical emergencies, you can significantly reduce the veterinary bills and save some money.
As of now, more than 30 colleges allow quadrupeds like dogs and cats on their campuses. These animals do not necessarily have to be service animals or offer emotional support to their owner. On the contrary, other colleges restrict on-campus pets to selected species of fishes, amphibians, lizards, and small caged mammals.