Policy on Pets in the Workplace

Davidson College's commitment to access extends beyond our commitment to admitting talented students irrespective of need. It includes a commitment to a campus community where all feel welcome and everyone has the opportunity to participate in our curricular and co-curricular activities. This commitment to access requires that we identify and, to the extent possible, alleviate impediments to an accessible campus.

For some in our campus community, the presence of pets in campus buildings is an access issue, due to allergies, phobias, or discomfort around animals. We do not want anyone to avoid areas of campus due to the presence of a pet, and no one should have to unexpectedly encounter an animal in a campus building.

Therefore, we are clarifying our policy around pets on campus. Animals (other than College-owned research animals and student-owned fish in residence halls) are not permitted in campus buildings or in outdoor athletic facilities with the following exceptions:

  1. Service animals are permitted. Davidson College recognizes the importance of "Service Animals" as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990/2010 revised and is committed to allowing individuals with disabilities the use of a Service Animal on campus to facilitate their full participation and equal access to the College's programs and activities. Please refer to the College's Service Animal Policy for further information.
  2. Emotional support animals for students are allowed in the residence halls when they are necessary to provide otherwise qualified students with documented mental health disabilities an equal opportunity to use and enjoy College Housing. Please refer to the College's Emotional Support Animal Policy for further information.
  3. There is a limited exception for allowing a dog in an employee's workspace. Exceptions never apply to workspaces in facilities that experience high visitor traffic (e.g., Admission & Financial Aid, Alvarez College Union), facilities that serve food; or facilities with research laboratories. For this exception to apply, all of the following criteria must be met:
    1. The employee's supervisor and division head/VP must approve of the arrangement in advance, and approval can be withdrawn at any time for any reason. In considering an employee request for a dog, the managers shall consider the following factors:
      • Whether the workspace is be conducive to hosting a dog. Typically, this means the workspace is enclosed and the employee is the only individual who will occupy the space (i.e., the employee does not hold meetings or open office hours in the work space). See Section 3(g) for information on common or open workspaces.
      • The size of the dog;
      • Whether the dog's presence would impose a burden on others who frequent areas near the workspace (e.g., allergies, phobias);
      • Whether the dog's presence would be disruptive to college operations (e.g., barking, jumping, pawing at people);
      • Whether the dog is housebroken;
      • Whether the dog has displayed aggressive behavior or has injured others; and
      • Whether there are any safety issues (e.g., tripping hazards created by animal crates).
    2. Before approving a request, the employee's supervisor must initiate a process for co-workers who frequent areas near the workspace to voice any concerns. The supervisor also must set expectations with the employee regarding the dog's presence in the workspace.supervisor also must set expectations with the employee regarding the dog's presence in the workspace.
    3. The dog may not be left in the workspace unsupervised at any time.
    4. The employee is responsible for the dog. This includes care and supervision, liability for any damage caused by the dog, and liability for any injuries caused by the dog. The employee will complete a form acknowledging responsibilities and releasing and holding the college harmless from all liability related to the dog.
    5. When the dog is in the workspace, the employee will keep the door to the workspace closed and will post a sign on the door indicating the dog's presence.
    6. Physical Plant may determine it will not service the employee's workspace. In that event, the employee is responsible for the cost of having the workspace cleaned as necessary.
    7. If the employee works in a common or open workspace, then the supervisor must consult with all employees working in that space prior to granting approval. The sign indicating the dog's presence must be posted outside of the common workspace.

Approval for having a dog in an employee's workspace can be revoked at the supervisor's or division head/VP's discretion and will be revoked if there are serious and/or persistent problems with the dog's presence.

Animals in open spaces on campus must be under control and under the supervision of the owner at all times. Dogs in open spaces must be on a leash at all times.

Failure to comply with this policy could result in the college taking appropriate corrective and/or disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

Please review, download and complete the Bring Your Dog To Work (PDF) authorization and release.