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Policies and Procedures

AFCMN 100

Number: AFCMN 100
Section: Facilities Management
Subject: Animals on Campus
Date: Revised - October 2019
Issued by: Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance/CFO
Authorized by: Senior University Facilities Executive

1. Purpose

The University of South Carolina Aiken is deeply committed to the well-being of our students, faculty, staff and visitors. While pets and other animals may be a source of enjoyment and companionship to their owners, they can also pose health and safety problems and introduce potential liability to the University and its members. The policy will delineate what animals are allowed on campus and any restrictions.

2. Definitions

  1. Service Animal: A service animal is any animal, usually a dog, that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.
  2. Emotional Support Animal (ESA): An emotional support animal is an animal (usually a dog or a cat) that provides assistance in the form of comfort or affection to individuals with emotional or psychological conditions.
  3. Pet: A domestic or tamed animal kept for companionship or pleasure.

3. Policy

  1. Dogs are the only pets that are allowed on campus in public outdoor areas. When attending an athletic or recreational event, dogs are only allowed in designated areas. Due to human health and safety concerns, animals are not permitted in buildings and student housing on the University of South Carolina Aiken campus. Exceptions to this rule are listed below. Any person found to have an unauthorized animal on campus will be asked to remove the animal promptly.
  2. Dogs must be kept on a 6ft. leash and they have to be appropriately tethered or contained, at all times.  Individuals who bring pets onto campus must clean up any waste the pet may leave, and have to control their dog at all times. All dogs brought onto University grounds must be licensed and fully inoculated in accordance with South Carolina State and Aiken County regulations.
  3. The University 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 campus grounds or facilities.
  4. Additionally, individuals are not permitted to lure animals to the campus through feeding stations or other means. Bird feeders and bird /bat houses may be permitted if approved by the Senior University Facilities Director.
  5. Feral or Wild Animals that are a potential risk, represent a hazard, cause property damage, create a nuisance, or otherwise pose a potential threat to the health or safety of humans will be regulated, controlled, and/or humanely relocated in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. Those animals that are not a risk and do not represent a hazard, cause property damage, or create a public nuisance, and that do not require human intervention, may inhabit the campus grounds.
  6. Owners of any animal on campus (including service animals, emotional support animals, or pets) are solely responsible for the behavior and actions of their animal and assumes all liability for the animal. The University assumes no responsibility for the animal or owner.  Also, the owner is responsible for any damage done by the animal as well as all waste caused by the animal.
  7. The University reserves the right to involve local animal control authorities if any animal is suspected of being mistreated by its owner on university grounds.

4. Exceptions

Outside the policy above, the animals listed below are permitted on campus.  When required by governing ordinances, such animals must wear appropriate tags and be certified, licensed, and/or inoculated.

  1. Service animals, as defined above, that are specially trained to aid persons with disabilities.
  2.  Emotional support animals (ESA) that are approved by the Office of Disability Services to live in University Housing.  Emotional support animals are not permitted in any other University buildings. Refer to University Housing procedures for more specifics regarding ESA policies.
  3. On-duty police dogs.
  4. Laboratory and demonstration animals (including reptiles, mammals, birds, and fish) used directly in support of the University's mission in teaching and/or research. Such animals are permitted only in those facilities and laboratories specifically designed to house that type of animal.
  5. Other Exceptions

    Additional exceptions may be granted on a limited basis if requested in writing and approved by the Provost or the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs.

5. Enforcement and Compliance with Policy

  1. Enforcement of this policy is the responsibility of each member of the USC Aiken community. Faculty, staff, students and volunteers are encouraged to enforce the policy for their facilities and/or sponsored activities. The following is the progression of enforcement of this policy:
    1. Each individual should, in a consistent and civil way, bring any infractions of this policy to the attention of the person or persons observed violating the policy. 
    2. If the person violating this policy does not immediately remove the animal from the premises, the individual should ask them to do so.
    3. In the event the person violating the policy does not respond to a request to remove the animal, the individual should contact Campus Police at 803-641-3319. Campus police will then issue a warning and/or a fine, and if needed will remove the offender in accordance with Campus Police procedures