Animals on Campus Policy


The purpose of this policy is to provide for the health and safety of University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) students, faculty, staff, and visitors and for the protection of UIW property. In order to meet the needs of pet owners while protecting UIW students, faculty, staff, and visitors who may use service animals, have fears, allergies, or which could cause a pet to interfere with that person's ability to work or study, the following rules will apply when an animal is brought onto the university-controlled property.
This policy applies to all university-controlled properties, including all athletic facilities.
  • University-controlled property - Property that is owned, leased, operated, and/or maintained by UIW.
  • Service Animal - Service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and all amendments thereto, including a guide or signal dog, or other animals individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Police K-9s are considered service animals as well as other animals that work for emergency personnel.
  • Research and Teaching Animals - Approved animals used directly in support of UIW’s mission of teaching, research, and or clinical programs.
  • Buildings: Domesticated pets (dogs, cats, birds, other pets, etc.) are not permitted inside any university-controlled building except for those animals that are specifically exempted by this policy. Specifically, animals are prohibited from being in residence halls, offices, classrooms, hallways, and all other areas in any academic or administrative building.

  • Campus Grounds: Domesticated pets are permitted outside on campus grounds when leashed, caged to otherwise secured, and properly attended at all times. The University reserves the right to require the individual with a leashed or otherwise secured domesticated pet to present documentation from a veterinarian that the pet is in good health, has appropriate immunizations, and is in compliance with all applicable state and local health laws, especially in the case of a medical emergency such as an animal bite. The individual may be asked to present updated documentation annually.

  • Residence Halls: Students residing in residence halls are not permitted to have pets inside the residence hall.

  • Special Events: Pets are not allowed (leashed or unleashed) at any special events or University functions with the exception of any specific event that has been approved for pets in advance by the Office of Safety and Risk Management.

Pets in campus buildings can pose sanitary and health-related problems to the campus community, including, but not limited to: fear, allergies associated with pet hair or urine, animal to human disease transmission (i.e., fleas, ticks, parasites, viruses, etc.), excessive noise, animal bites, and property damage. Individuals with a disability that require the use of a service animal are at particular risk. For example, a dog running at large poses a hazard to an individual using a service dog, should there be a confrontation between the two animals.

  • Responsibility, removal & behavior of a permitted animal
  • Pets must not disrupt others (i.e. noise, odor, squawking, excessive barking, etc.).
  • Pet owners are responsible for cleaning up any mess made by their pets. Anyone who brings a pet on university-controlled property assumes all financial responsibility for any damages to property or injury to individuals caused by the animal.
  • A pet may be removed from University property for violation of this policy at the discretion of the Office of Safety and Risk Management. The Office of Safety and Risk Management has the final say in the revocation of the permitted animal's on-campus privileges.
  • Pets may not be tethered to University buildings, structures, motor vehicles, trees, railings, light poles, benches, posts, or other structures.
  • Undomesticated and/or “other” animals: Animals such as poisonous reptiles, constricting snakes, and other potentially dangerous or aggressive animals are prohibited from all University- controlled property (inside and outside) at all times, except research and teaching animals.

  • Certain breeds of Dogs: The following breeds of dogs on this non-exhaustive list are prohibited from all University-owned property:

    • Pit Bulls

    • Rottweilers

    • Any hybrids that are mixed with the breeds mentioned above

    • Dogs with a history of aggressive behavior

  • Feeding and reporting of stray animals: It is the desire of the University for stray animals to be treated humanely. Due to the increase in rabies cases in the San Antonio area and in compliance with municipal and state laws regarding licensing and the care and control of animals, feeding stray animals is not permitted. This allows for greater control of the animal population, including skunks, bats, raccoons, urban coyotes, or stray dogs and cats, and will better provide for the health and safety of the UIW community, especially those on the campus late in the evening when nocturnal animals wander. Stray animals should be reported to the Office of Facilities Management at 210.829.6023 or the Office of Safety and Risk Management at 210.829.6035 for removal of the animal to a no-kill shelter or to wildlife rescue groups.

  • Prohibited Animals: Prohibited animals on University-controlled property must be removed immediately. If a prohibited animal is observed on the university-controlled property, the owner may face disciplinary measures by appropriate authorities or departments which include Campus Police, the Human Resources, and the Dean of Campus Life.

  • Unattended or Unrestrained Animals: If an unrestrained/unattended animal is observed, a reasonable attempt will be made to locate the animal’s owner. If the owner is located, he/she may face disciplinary measures by the appropriate office which includes Campus Police, the Human Resource Department, and the Dean of Campus Life. If attempts to find the animal’s owner is unsuccessful, the City of San Antonio Animal Control will be contacted for removal of the animal from the university-controlled property.

  • Property Damage or Personal Injury: The University will seek restitution for any animal-related damage to University-controlled property, facilities, or grounds, or injury to any person. The repair or replacement cost of damaged property or expenses in connection with a personal injury is the sole responsibility of the owner of the animal that caused the damage.

The animals listed below are permitted inside University-controlled property:

  • Service animals (see below for more detail)

  • Research and Teaching animals

  • Domestic pets are owned by the executive administration who maintain a permanent residence on campus and are on call at all times.

  • Employees residing in university housing as set out in Pet Policy for Employees Living in University Housing

Although these animals are permitted within the buildings, the animal must remain under the control of the owner at all times. The care or supervision of an exempted animal is solely the responsibility of the owner. UIW reserves the right to exclude an exempted animal whose behavior poses a threat to the health or safety of others.

  • Service animals are permitted on University-controlled property and in University buildings while they are performing tasks for the individual they accompany.
  • UIW recommends any animal being used as a service animal inside any University-controlled building should wear a harness or other identifying device to identify it as a service animal.
  • In order for Human Resources (for employees) and the Office of Student Disability Services (for students) to help facilitate the use of a service animal on campus, the employee or student using a service animal inside any University-controlled building must notify in advance the respective office of the need to use a service animal. Visitors wishing to utilize a service animal or discuss usage of service animals on the campus are directed to contact the Office of Safety and Risk Management. The EHSRM office will investigate any complaint that a service animal is disruptive or threatening. If it is determined that the animal is disruptive or threatening and acting outside the appropriate scope of its duties as a service animal, the individual will be instructed to remove the animal until the individual produces appropriate documentation indicating that sufficient training has taken place to bring the animal under control.
  • The University reserves the right to require the individual to present documentation from the individual’s health care provider as well as from a veterinarian that the service animal is in good health and has current and up-to-date immunization records and is in compliance with all applicable state and local health laws. The individual may be asked to present updated documentation annually. The individual with the service animal takes full responsibility for the needs and behavior of the animal. Animal waste must be picked up and disposed of properly.
To report a violation of this policy or for general questions, please contact the EHSRM Office at 210.829.6035. To report a problem with an animal on campus, such as an unattended animal, contact the Office of Facilities Management at 210.829.6023 or the EHSRM Office at 210.829.6035. To report an injury or property damage in connection with an animal on campus, contact Campus Police at 210.829.6030.

Effective Date: 1 January 2011
Contact: Sam McDaniel, Department of Environmental Health Safety and Risk Management (EHSRM)