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To describe the conditions under which animals are allowed in buildings.

Applies to: 

All faculty, staff, students, and campus visitors

Juniper Gardens
Policy Statement: 

No pets are allowed in campus buildings. The following animals are permitted under the conditions specified:

1. Animals used for research, teaching, and testing, including museum exhibit animals

Animals used for research, teaching, and testing must be registered and approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). IACUC policies and forms can be obtained by sending a written request to iacuc@ku.edu. Animal procurement must be coordinated through the Animal Care Unit.

2. On-duty police/fire dogs. 

3. Police/fire dogs participating in the training or recertification programs conducted at the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center

4. Fish, non-venomous, or non-dangerous reptiles and amphibians maintained in contained enclosures

Unit or departmental administrators may allow the housing of fish, reptiles, and amphibians in contained enclosures if the individuals housing the animals do not have contact with other University-housed animals and if they assume responsibility for providing proper care and sanitation for the fish, reptiles, and amphibians. The housing of such animals does not come under the jurisdiction or oversight of the IACUC.

5. A service animal assisting an individual with a disability

For purposes of this policy, a service animal is defined as 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. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals. In some cases, the University may permit miniature horses on campus on a case-by-case basis, consistent with applicable law.

The service animal must be under the control of its handler. Where it is not readily apparent that an animal is a service animal as defined by the ADA, the University may ask if the animal is required because of a disability and what work or task the animal has been trained to perform.

Requests for modification or exception under this policy are determined by KU’s Office of Civil Rights & Title IX through a request and review process. Please contact Human Resources Management, hrdept@ku.edu, 785-864-4946.

6. Assistance Animals in Student Housing

For purposes of this policy, “assistance animal” includes any service animal as defined above as well as an animal needed for emotional support. An individual may keep an assistance animal as an accommodation in Student Housing if: a) the individual has a documented disability; b) the animal is necessary to afford the individual an equal opportunity to use and enjoy Student Housing; and c) there is an identifiable relationship between the disability and the assistance the animal provides. Other than service animals, assistance animals are not allowed in other campus buildings except as set forth above.


The University may exclude a service or assistance animal if the animal is not housebroken; would pose a direct threat to the health, safety, or property of others that cannot be reduced or eliminated by a reasonable accommodation; is out of control and the individual does not take effective action to control it; would fundamentally alter the nature of a program or activity; or is not being cared for the by the individual.

Responsibilities of Individuals with Service and Assistance Animals

The University is not responsible for the care or supervision of service or assistance animals. Individuals with disabilities are responsible for the control of their animals at all times and for ensuring the immediate clean-up and proper disposal of all animal waste. Individuals must comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including vaccination, licensure, animal health and leash laws, as well as, if applicable Student Housing rules and contract provisions that are consistent with this policy.


Although the University will not charge an individual with a disability a service animal surcharge, it may impose charges for damages caused by a service or assistance animal in the same manner the University imposes charges for damages to property.

Exclusions or Special Circumstances: 

Events sponsored by Health Education Resource Office as part of mental wellness programming for KU students, faculty, and staff in which therapy dogs will be brought to campus and into campus buildings are exempt from this policy. The exemption extended to these programs comes with specific conditions including:

  1. Advanced signage will be placed at the location to provide notice of the event;
  2. Signage will be placed near the entrance(s) alerting individuals that dogs are on the premises;
  3. Dogs will be located away from any entrance/exit;
  4. Dogs will be located in space that is not carpeted;
  5. Event will include staff or volunteers who can provide counseling services;
  6. Event will utilize certified therapy dogs that are brought to the event by their handler; and
  7. Health Education Resource Office will ensure that appropriate insurance for the event is purchased.

These conditions seek to alert and accommodate any individual that may have allergies to dogs or prefer not to interact with them. KU does not recognize the therapy dogs involved in these programs as either service animals or emotional support animals. This exemption is not applicable to other types of therapy animals.  


Policy Office

Approved by: 
Executive Vice Chancellor
Approved on: 
Monday, July 1, 1985
Effective on: 
Monday, July 1, 1985
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)

Chapter 3 of the Code of the City of Lawrence deals with regulation of animals. Article 1 prohibits the ownership of certain animals within city limits. Dogs, cats, and other animals that are not prohibited by city code are permitted in outdoor areas of campus but are subject to the provisions of Chapter 3, Article 2 of the code, which prohibits animals from running at large (“leash law”).

Animals, pets, service dogs, service animals, assistance dogs, assistance animals, laboratory animals, police dogs, fire dogs
Change History: 

03/24/2022: Replaced reference to Watkins Health Center in the Exclusions and Special Circumstances section with Health Education Resource Office.
11/04/2021: Updated contact section.
09/02/2021: Updated Institutional Opportunity and Access to the Office of Civil Rights & Title IX.
07/30/2018: Updated to include on-duty police/fire dogs.
06/24/2016: Added an exemption for programs offered by Watkins Health Center
10/06/2015: Updated contact information in section 4 of the policy statement to HR
12/05/2014: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing)
12/20/2012: Updated to reflect the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center’s responsibilities in training fire/police dogs.
05/04/2012: Revisions from 04/11/2012 approved by the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor.
04/11/2012:  Revised by the Office of the Provost (Vice Provost for Diversity and Equity) in consultation with the Academic Achievement and Access Center and the Office of the General Counsel.
10/22/2010: Updated by the Office of the Provost in consultation with Human Resources and the Animal Care and Use Committee.
04/23/2009: Revised to include conditions under which certain animals will be permitted.
10/2001: Revised
07/1985: Adopted by the Executive Vice Chancellor.

Academic Categories: 
Assistance with Disabilities
Operational Categories: 
Health & Safety
Student Life Categories: 
Assistance with Disabilities

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