Effective Date: February 27, 2017
Last Reviewed: February 27, 2017


The College has the responsibility to provide a safe, healthy, positive, learning environment to its community. The uncontrolled and unsupervised presence of animals on campus may compromise that environment. Animals can also pose a threat to the health and safety of the campus community, as well as to a healthful educational environment (through allergy, excessive noise, animal bites, and disease transmission via fleas, ticks, parasites, viruses, bacteria, etc.).

Animals pose a significant liability risk to the College and its community members and visitors. This policy standardizes the College's position on the control of animals. This policy upholds all federal, state, and local laws and regulations; ensures the health and safety of the community; preserves the integrity of the grounds, buildings, and other property; and supports a healthful educational environment that respects the rights of individuals.

This policy outlines procedures designed to control the possible nuisance and potential health hazards created by domestic animals (e.g., dogs, cats, livestock), and wild animals (e.g., raccoons, skunks, opossums), on campus. In addition, this policy establishes the responsibilities of the owner(s) of the animal(s) and sets forth the manner in which the conditions of the policy will be administered.

This policy applies to all animals (except for on duty police dogs and service animals used by individuals with disabilities) in or on any College owned and/or controlled property. (However, fish in aquariums of twenty five gallons or smaller are permissible for Stonehill College students. Additionally, the Vice President for Student Affairs, or his or her designee, may grant exceptions in limited circumstances for employees who reside on campus. The Vice President for Student Affairs, or his or her designee, shall develop and maintain procedures regarding the restrictions and responsibilities beyond what is set forth in this Policy). This includes, but is not limited to, residence halls, academic buildings, administrative offices, outdoor spaces on campus, and off-campus, except for those animals that are exempted from this policy. This policy does not cover lab animals or animals on campus as part of the curriculum. For these occurrences please refer to policies and procedures regarding lab animals produced by the Academic Division.

Any person who has been approved to have an animal on any College property, including athletic fields, playing fields and intramural areas are subject to the following restrictions and responsibilities:

• All animals must have current vaccinations, and should be evidenced by a tag which is clearly displayed on the animal. The College maintains the right, to request copies of the vaccination certificate from the owner/handler. 

• A valid Massachusetts license (M.G.L., Chap. 140, Sect. 137) must be displayed at all times by any animal on campus. 

• All animals must be restrained on a leash or other appropriate restraining device and the leash/device must be held by and under the control of a competent person at all times (except when the dog is approved to be contained in the person's private or semiprivate office or residence with the door closed, or during events approved by the Department of 2 Campus Police & Safety). They are never to be tied or secured to trees, posts, shrubs, etc., and left unattended.

• Any disruption of the campus educational process, administrative process, or other campus function by the animal constitutes reason for that animal to be removed from the property immediately. 

• Owners of animals on College property shall be liable for all expenses of any damages incurred by the animal. ·

• It is the sole responsibility of the owner/handler to clean any urine or feces produced by the animal while in buildings or anywhere on campus. ·

• The presence of any animal, in any unattended motor vehicle without proper food, water, or ventilation, or subjected to extreme temperatures that could affect the health or safety of the animal will be removed by the Department of Campus Police & Safety or by the local animal control officer. ·

• The College maintains the right, in its sole discretion, to request the removal of any animal at any time and for any reason.

The College recognizes that wild or feral animals may select the campus grounds as their habitat. However, the College considers the safety and health of Stonehill College faculty, staff, students, and visitors to be of utmost priority. Sightings of injured or potentially dangerous wild animals (e.g., opossums, skunks, raccoons, coyotes) on campus should be reported to the Department of Campus Police & Safety. For removal of carcasses found on College property, contact the Facilities Management Office during business hours, and the Department of Campus Police & Safety during evening and weekend hours.

In special circumstances, approval may be obtained from the Department of Campus Police & Safety for animals to be brought on campus for a single event involving the display or demonstration of specialized skills or natural behaviors.

When a Stonehill College Police officer observes or becomes aware of an animal in violation of these regulations, a reasonable attempt will be made to locate the animal's owner/handler. If the owner/handler is available, the officer may issue a citation for the infraction. When appropriate, other disciplinary or protective measures may be invoked.

If attempts to find the animal's owner/handler are unsuccessful, the officer will contact the local animal control officer, who will remove the animal from the property.

Stonehill College will seek restitution for any animal-related damage to College property, facilities, or grounds. The repair or replacement cost of damaged property is the sole responsibility of the owner of the animal that caused the damage.

This policy is intended to help maintain the delicate balance required to sustain all wildlife on the campus grounds without human intervention, rather than to protect any one species of animal. The achievement of such balance requires the cooperation of all members of the campus community.

Wild or feral animals that are not a risk, do not represent a hazard, do not cause property damage, do not create a public nuisance, and that do not involve human intervention, will be allowed to inhabit the campus grounds. Prohibited human intervention includes, but is not limited to, feeding, building of shelters, or any other direct contact. Wild or feral animals that are a potential risk, represent a hazard, cause property damage, create a nuisance, or otherwise pose a potential conflict for humans will be regulated, controlled, and humanely relocated in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.

The Director of Campus Police & Safety (or his/her designee) is responsible for providing the final determination on the risk, potential hazard, potential for property damage, or potential for public nuisance of any animal on campus.

All members of the campus community are required to comply with all aspects of this policy. Employees and students who fail to comply or who interfere with the implementation of this policy, including relocation of animals, may result in confiscation of the animal as well as corrective or disciplinary action.