Policy Details

Date of Last Update

Approved By
  • President's Cabinet

Responsible Office
Public Safety


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Animals on Property Owned or Controlled by the University

PC 6.1

Policy Statement

This policy is intended to enhance the safety and health of students, faculty, staff, contractors, vendors and other visitors, and to supplement the existing GVSU policies, by providing rules and regulations regarding the presence of animals in GVSU facilities. 

No person shall bring any animal(s) onto University owned or controlled property unless otherwise permitted by this or other University policy as listed below: 

A.    Service Animals as defined in 28 CFR § 36.104 as amended.  Service animals include any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items while they are assisting individuals with a disability, unless the service animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, or the presence of the service animal will result in a fundamental alteration of the services, programs or activities normally carried out within a facility.  Individuals with a disability who wish to bring a service animal into a University facility must first contact the University’s Office of Disability Support Resources. http://www.gvsu.edu/housing/students/policies-a-z-36.htm

B.    Service animals in training. Service animals in training are dogs being individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities,  are at all times accompanied by a certified trainer and, are outfitted with a vest or harness that communicates clearly to others that they are in training.

C.    Animals under the control of a law enforcement officer acting in the course of his or her duties.

D.    Animals kept in residence halls as approved by the Department of Housing and Residence Life including animals kept by housing staff in residence.

E.    Animals approved by the University for use in research or for instructional purposes. http://www.gvsu.edu/iacuc/

F.    Animals brought on campus for a special event sponsored by the University or a student organization provided that the event has been pre approved in writing by the Dean for the sponsoring college or department or by the Office of Student Life.

G.    Members of the University community and visitors from surrounding areas may exercise their animals by walking them on sidewalks upon the University grounds or on University walkways.  This activity does not require prior approval but animals must be leashed at all times and may not enter areas where signs are posted restricting animals.

For Purpose of this Policy, “University Facility or Facilities” means any building, facility, structure or improvement, open or enclosed that is owned, licensed, leased by, or under the control of the University. 

Any animal brought into a University owned or controlled property pursuant to this Policy will be properly licensed, vaccinated and tagged as required by applicable law.  

Persons bringing animals onto University owned or controlled property as permitted by this Policy are solely responsible for: (a) the full control, supervision and care of the animal; (b) ensuring that animal droppings or other waste are picked up, thoroughly cleaned up and properly disposed of; (c) reimbursing the University for the costs associated with the repair of any real and/or personal property and/or University facility damaged directly or indirectly by the animal or the animal’s presence in the facility; (d) assuming full responsibility for any harm caused to others by their animal including medical expenses.

In addition, individuals bringing animals on campus must comply with all other applicable University ordinances, policies, practices and procedures and any applicable local, state or federal ordinance, statute and/or regulation.  

Enforcement of Complaints:  
If you are aware of a violation of this policy, you are encouraged to attempt informal methods of resolution. For example, if you recognize the person violating this policy, you might contact them or their supervisor to make them aware of the problem. If that is not successful and/or you are not comfortable approaching the person violating the policy or their supervisor, then the Office of Public Safety Services should be notified.  The Office of Public Safety Services will pick up the animal and hold it for 48 hours at the Central Utilities building.  Animals not claimed during that time will be turned over to the county animal warden and the owner of the animal will be responsible for any associated fees. In addition, a $30.00 fine will be imposed for each violation of this policy.