06-18.00 – Animals on Campus Policy

  1. Policy Statement:

    Towson University (“University”) does not permit animals in University buildings or facilities, or on University grounds, except as described in this policy (“Policy”). The University remains committed to creating and maintaining a welcoming and inclusive educational, working, and living environment for people of all abilities. Accordingly, the University allows animals in its buildings or facilities when they are serving a University-approved purpose, or meet the definition of Service Animals, or Emotional Support Animals as provided in this policy.

    1. The University permits animals on its grounds provided that the owner:

      1. Follows local and state laws related to animal control.

      2. Does not allow the animal to enter a University building or facility.

      3. Assumes full responsibility for any damage or injury caused by the animal.

      4. Controls and properly supervises the animal at all times (e.g., animals must have a harness, leash, tether, or other device which allows the owner to maintain control of the animal; not tether the animal to stationery objects; etc.).

      5. Ensures that animal waste is cleaned up immediately and disposed of properly.

      6. The University reserves the right to restrict the presence of or order the removal of any animal it deems disruptive.

    2. University-Approved Purpose:

      The University may permit an animal into campus buildings or facilities for an academic, educational, or operational purpose related to the University’s goals and mission, or for the prompt, efficient, or effective administration of the University’s business. Individuals wishing to seek a waiver of this policy must submit a request in advance to the Vice President for Administration & Finance.

    3. Service Animals:

      In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Md. Human Svs Code § 7-705, the University allows Service Animals to enter University buildings or facilities so long as they meet the guidelines set forth in this Policy and the relevant associated procedures. A Service Animal is not restricted to certain rooms or areas, but may instead live and work in any campus building to which its Owner has access.

      The University may ban a Service Animal or require its removal from a campus building or location if:

      1. The Owner fails to keep the Service Animal under control. If the uncontrollable behavior happens repeatedly, the Owner may be prohibited from bringing the Service Animal into any University facility until the Owner demonstrates specific and effective steps taken to mitigate the behavior.

      2. The Service Animal’s behavior or condition constitutes (or is reasonably likely to constitute) a threat to the University or a member of the University Community. A Service Animal is considered a direct threat if it exhibits behavior or has a condition observed to be aggressive, violent, and/or hazardous to the health or safety of individuals. Examples include, but are not limited to, growling/aggressive posturing, biting/nipping/kicking, or having fleas/ticks.

      3. Service Animals in Training enjoy the same rights as Service Animals. They (and their Owners) must adhere to the same rules, policies, and procedures as Service Animals.

    4. Emotional Support Animals:

      Consistent with applicable laws, the University allows Emotional Support Animals to enter residence halls if they are an approved accommodation. Emotional Support Animals and their Owner must also follow the guidelines set forth in this Policy and the relevant associated procedures.The University may withdraw approval for the continued presence of an Emotional Support Animal and order its removal from a campus building or location if conditions change and the owner is no longer eligible for the accommodation. The University may direct the immediate removal and impose a ban of an Emotional Support Animal in any of the following circumstances:

      1. The animal’s behavior or condition constitutes (or is reasonably likely to constitute) a direct threat to the health or safety of the University Community or disruption to the University’s operations. An animal is considered a direct threat if it exhibits behavior or has a condition observed to be aggressive, violent, and/or hazardous to the health or safety of individuals. Examples include, but are not limited to, growling/aggressive posturing, biting/nipping, or having fleas/ticks.

      2. The animal causes substantial physical damage to property;

      3. The animal is not housebroken; or

      4. The Owner fails to keep the animal under control.

  2. Definitions:

    1. “Disability” (with respect to an individual) is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the person’s major life activities; a history of having such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment.

    2. “Emotional Support Animal” (also known as an “assistance animal,” “comfort animal,” or “therapy animal”) is an animal which provides emotional support, well-being, or companionship that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a Disability. Emotional Support Animals are not Service Animals or pets and need not be individually trained. The University allows Emotional Support Animals on campus as an accommodation to an individual with a Disability.

    3. “Owner” is an individual who has physical possession and control of a Service Animal (or Service Animal in Training) or an Emotional Support Animal allowed on campus as a Disability-related accommodation.

    4. “Reasonable Accommodation” is an action taken by the University to accommodate the needs of a student, employee, guest, or visitor with a Disability without imposing an undue hardship on the University. Reasonable Accommodations must address the particular Disability and shall not fundamentally alter the academic objectives of an individual course, curriculum, program, or degree (for students) or Essential Job Functions (for employees).

    5. “Service Animal” is a dog (or a miniature horse under particular circumstances defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (28 C.F.R. § 35.136(i)) that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a Disability. Service Animals do not have to be licensed or certified by a state or local government or a training program. They are not pets and need not wear special identification. However, tasks performed by a Service Animal must relate directly to its Owner’s Disability. Tasks performed by Service Animals include, but are not limited to:

      1. Assisting individuals with navigation and other tasks;

      2. Alerting individuals to the presence of people, sound, allergens, etc.;

      3. Pulling a wheelchair;

      4. Assisting an individual during a seizure;

      5. Retrieving items such as medicine or telephone;

      6. Providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities; and/or

      7. Helping persons with psychiatric or neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors.

      8. A Service Animal is not an Emotional Support Animal or an animal whose only purpose is to deter crime.

    6. “Service Animal in Training” is a dog (or miniature horse) being trained to become a Service Animal.

  3. Responsible Executive and Office:

    Responsible Executive:
    Vice President for Administration and Finance and Chief Fiscal Officer

    Responsible Office:
    Office of Administration and Finance

  4. Entities Affected by this Policy:

    This Policy Applies to all individuals on the University’s campus, including faculty, staff, students, parents, vendors, and visitors.

  5. Procedures:

    Procedures implementing this Policy are:

    1. Service Animal Procedures;

    2. Emotional Support Animal Procedures.

Related Policies:

TU Policy 06-01.00, Policy Prohibiting Discrimination

TU Policy 06-21.00, Policy for Providing Reasonable Accommodations to Individuals with Disabilities

Approval Date:

Effective Date:

Amended Date:

Approved By: President’s Council

Signed By: President’s Council

How to Request the Policy PDF

This online version of the policy may include updated links and names of departments. To request a PDF of the original, signed version of this policy, email the Office of the General Counsel, .