Animals on Campus
Policy Title: Animals in TCU Facilities
Policy Subject (e.g., Vacation, Travel Reimbursements): Animals in TCU facilities
Division (e.g., Academic Affairs, HR): Human Resources
Policy Number (if applicable):
This policy applies to students, employees, visitors and animals brought to TCU facilities.
II. Policy Statement and Purpose
The purpose of this policy is to define clear expectations for the Texas Christian University (TCU) community with respect to the presence of and care for other-than-human animals (hereafter referred to as “animals”) in TCU’s facilities. This policy considers the health and safety of students, employees, and visitors, as well as the welfare of animals that are brought to TCU; protects TCU’s property and assets; and ensures equal access to TCU facilities for all members of our community, including persons with disabilities.
III. Policy Definitions
a. Service Animal: A Service Animal is a dog or miniature horse that is individually trained to perform specific tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability. A disability may be physical, sensory, psychiatric, or intellectual, and may not be visible. The tasks performed by a Service Animal must specifically relate to the person’s disability.
b. Service Animal in Training: A Service Animal in Training is a dog or miniature horse who is being trained to perform specific tasks for a person with disabilities.
c. Emotional Support Animal: An Emotional Support Animal is an animal that provides emotional or other support to an individual with a disability. Emotional Support Animals are not required to be trained to perform tasks. Emotional Support Animals may include species other than dogs or miniature horses.
d. Therapy Animal: A Therapy Animal is an animal trained to provide a health or other benefit to a particular population, such as hospital patients or college students.
e. Companion Animal/Pet: A Companion Animal/Pet is any animal who provides companionship to an individual or family. For the purposes of this policy, Service Animals, Service Animals in Training, and Emotional Support Animals are not considered Companion Animals/Pets.
f. Animals use for research purposes: Vertebrate animals used as a model to systematically investigate, develop, design or contribute to the advancement of knowledge, by materially altering the nature lifestyle or activities of the animal.
g. Animals used for pedagogical purposes: Live vertebrate animals used for any non-research educational activity other than observing them in their normal setting with no or minimal disturbance.
TCU allows animals in campus facilities only under the circumstances listed below. “TCU Facilities” include all campus instructional, residential, and athletics buildings, as well as enclosed outdoor spaces being used for public events such as concerts or sports.
• Service Animals may accompany persons with disabilities as provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); TCU requires students register their Service Animals with the Student Disabilities Services office, and employees register their Service Animals with the Director of Employee Relations in Human Resources.
• Service Animals in Training may accompany their trainer as provided by Texas Human Resources Code (Section 121.003i); TCU requires that students register their Service Animals in Training with the Student Disabilities Services office, and that employees register their Service Animals in Training with the Director of Employee Relations in Human Resources.
• Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) may accompany individuals with disabilities while they are in their TCU owned or leased housing facility as provided by the Fair Housing Act, if they have been approved through the relevant application and review process. Students should contact the Student Disabilities Services office and employees should contact the Director of Employee Relations. In exceptional circumstances, ESAs may also be allowed to accompany persons with disabilities to other TCU facilities as specifically approved by the Student Disabilities Services office or the Director of Employee Relations.
• Therapy Animals may visit TCU for a specific purpose if approved by the head of the relevant unit (e.g., therapy dogs brought to campus during finals week by Student Affairs to help students relieve stress). Therapy Animals are not required to be formally certified, although units wishing to use Therapy Animals to provide a benefit to the University community should use their judgment in selecting animals that will not disrupt University business.
• Animals used in education, research or testing (including serving a pedagogical purpose in the classroom) and have been approved for such specific uses by TCU’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). (Please see TCU’s IACUC Policies and Procedures Manual). Where animals are serving a pedagogical purpose in the classroom please see below for recommended best practices for instructors.
• Animals assisting law enforcement or public safety officers in the conduct of their duties.
• Animals that been approved for a special event (such as animals brought to TCU facilities as part of Student Affair’s programming, where students are allowed to pet or be photographed with the animals).
Companion Animals/Pets are not allowed in TCU facilities. Fish in containers of ten gallons or less may be allowed in TCU facilities. Contact Housing and Residence Life or the Director of Employee Relations for guidelines.
TCU may remove or require the removal of any animal that poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, is not housebroken, or otherwise disrupts the use of campus grounds or facilities. Animals found tethered, unattended, or abandoned may be humanely impounded in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, and should be reported to TCU Police.
This policy on animals in TCU facilities does not apply to TCU’s feral cat colony, which is managed sustainably under a trap, neuter, release (TNR) program overseen by Frogs and Cats Together (FACT) in compliance with the City of Fort Worth’s TNR ordinance, registered with the Texas Coalition for Animal Protection, and with the assistance of the Panther City Feral Cat Coalition.
Violations of this policy may result in removal of animal from campus and/or appropriate remedial measures under any applicable University codes of conduct.
If a member of the TCU community is concerned that an animal on campus presents an immediate risk to health or safety, they should contact the TCU police department at 817-257-7777 or dial 911 for emergency responders.
If a member of the TCU community is concerned that an employee has violated this policy or intends to do so, either by inappropriately preventing an animal’s access to a TCU Facility or by bringing an animal into TCU Facilities under circumstances not allowed under this policy, then he or she may direct those concerns to TCU’s office of Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If a member of the TCU community is concerned that a student has violated this policy or intends to do so, then they may direct those concerns to TCU’s Dean of Students at email@example.com.
If an animal repeatedly obstructs or disrupts teaching, learning, research, other activity authorized by the University, or performance of job duties, the handler/owner may be asked to stop the animal’s behavior or remove the animal from TCU facilities. If a community member has concerns about such behavior, they should contact the appropriate office. If the animal is a Service Animal, Service Animal in Training or Emotional Support Animal, whose handler is a student, they should contact Student Disabilities Services. If the Animal is a Service Animal, Service Animal in Training or Emotional Support Animal, whose handler is an employee, they should contact the Director of Employee Relations.
Students or employees who require an accommodation for medical conditions that are affected by exposure to animals, or have a health or safety-related concern about exposure to animals, should contact the Student Disabilities Services office or the Director of Employee Relations as soon as possible.
VI. Administrative Responsibility
The Human Resources office is responsible for administering and interpreting this policy.
VII. Policy History
Date Issued: May 7, 2019
Date Last Revised: N/A
VIII. Related Policies
Service Animal Policy
Emotional Support Animals Policy and Procedures
Notice of Nondiscrimination
Institutional Animal Care and Use Policies and Procedures
Institutional Animal Care and Use Training Requirements Policy
A. Responsibilities of Animal Owners/Handlers
B. Responsibilities for Other Members of the TCU Community
C. Recommended Best Practices for Instructors Using Animals in the Classroom
X. Signature and Approval Date
Approved by Cabinet: May 7, 2019