Animals on College Property


This procedure outlines safety and security standards relative to animals allowed on college property; to permit services that animals provide to students, faculty, staff, the institution and the community; and to identify the distinction between those animals permitted on and those excluded from college property.


Service Animals – Service animals are dogs, or other animals defined by federal or state law, trained to do work or perform specific tasks directly related to an individual’s disability.

Emotional Support Animals – Emotional support animals are animals that provide therapeutic benefit to individuals with a disability, and are prescribed by a physician or licensed mental health professional.

Working Animals – Working animals are animals used: a) in academic courses or for education and research purposes; b) for law enforcement and rescue purposes; or c) under the direction of licensed mental health professionals or other employees or individuals approved by the college for therapeutic purposes.

Companion Animals or Pets - Companion animals (commonly known as pets) are animals living with individuals for purposes of pleasure, leisure time activity and companionship.

The Procedure

Service Animals

  1. Faculty, staff, or students wishing to utilize a service animal on college property must receive the approval of Student Accommodation Services (for students) or the Department of Human Resources (for employees), permitting the individual to have a service animal on campus.
  2. Approved service animals, including service-animals-in-training, may accompany an individual with a disability or an individual training the animal in public facilities and accommodations or places to which the general public is invited (e.g. academic buildings, administrative offices, faculty or staff offices, etc.), as long as the animal is under control.
  3. When not readily apparent that an animal is a service animal, college personnel may ask only two questions to determine if the animal is permitted: (1) Is the animal a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the animal been trained to perform?

Working Animals

  1. Working animals are permitted on campus by authorized individuals. The applicable cabinet officer will determine if and when working animals are permitted on campus, in consultation with Student Accommodation Services (in relation to students) or Human Resources (in relation to employees) unless otherwise stated in this procedure.
  2. The review and approval of college-owned or maintained animals for education or research purposes are under the jurisdiction of the Vice President of Academic Affairs, which follows college policies and procedures and other guidelines adopted by local, state, and federal regulatory agencies.
  3. Animals used for special events or non-academic purposes will be reviewed and approved by the Vice President of Facilities and Public Safety.

Emotional Support Animals and Companion Animals

  1. Emotional support animals and companion animals are not permitted inside college facilities, except for the College President’s residence, and other approved college activities involving animals.
  2. Emotional support animals and companion animals are generally permitted on Kirkwood grounds but must be attended to, physically restrained, and under the control of the owner/person responsible for the animal at all times.

Responsibilities of Individuals with Animals on Campus

Owners and keepers of animals on campus are responsible for their animals at all times. This responsibility includes complying with all state laws and local animal ordinances as well as the following requirements:

  1. Providing appropriate restraint, control and supervision of animals at all times.
  2. Providing animals with appropriate care, including food, water, shelter, health care and humane treatment.
  3. Cleaning up and disposing of all animal waste (both indoors and outdoors) in a timely and effective fashion.
  4. Not allowing odor, noise, damage, or other behavior of animals that disturbs others or damages college grounds, facilities or property.
  5. Ensuring animals are properly licensed and vaccinated under the laws of Iowa and evidence indicating such license and vaccination must be presentable.
  6. The owner and/or the handler are responsible for any damage to persons or property caused by the animal. The college may seek restitution from the responsible parties for any animal related damage or costs.

Violations of This Procedure

  1. An animal may be prohibited from or required to leave a facility on campus if the animal’s behavior or presence poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others. For example, an animal that displays aggressive/vicious behaviors toward people or other animals may be excluded.
  2. Animals may be restricted from areas when and where their presence presents a health, safety, or sanitation concern.
  3. An animal may be prohibited if the owner/keeper does not adhere to the Responsibilities of Individuals with Animals on Campus (above), or if the animal substantially interferes with the reasonable use of public accommodation by others.
  4. Animals that have been abandoned or found within college facilities that are not a part of a college-sponsored program may be impounded and/or placed with a third party, at the expense of the owner or individual who claims the animal.

Complaints Under This Procedure

  1. Animals that are out of control, presenting a disruption, or posing a threat to the campus community should be reported to Public Safety, 319-398-7777.
  2. Non-emergencies involving students or employees and their animals in academic buildings, administrative offices, or other areas of campus, can be directed to the Dean of Students office (319) 398-5540 (for student concerns) or to Human Resources 319-398-7797 (for employee concerns).
  3. Concerns of alleged policy violations will be managed according to the procedures outlined in existing student and employee conduct processes.