UCR Policies and Procedures

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 For a hard copy pdf version of this document, contact the Chief Compliance Office, at 2-8246.


Campus Policy Number:      850-38

Policy Topic:                         Pets on Campus

Policy Officer:                       Vice Chancellor for Planning, Budget, and Administration

Policy Office:                        Office of the Vice Chancellor for Planning, Budget, and Administration

Origination Date:                           09/30/2010

Date of Last Review:                  10/01/2018

Effective Date of Revision:  03/15/2019


  I.  Introduction and Overview  


One of the primary goals of the University of California, Riverside (UC Riverside) is to promote a safe and healthy atmosphere for students, faculty, staff, and visitors on the campus. Exposure to pets on campus may pose risks of animal bites, excessive noise or disruption, and disease transmission via fleas, ticks, parasites, etc. It may also pose a risk to those individuals with allergies or asthma. Pets on campus may also cause damage to grounds, buildings, and property, and pose a significant liability risk to the University.


This policy is intended to clarify under what conditions pets may be brought onto University Facilities. It applies to all individuals who enter the campus. For information regarding pets in residence halls and apartments, refer to the current UCR Student Resident Handbook.


This policy is not intended to address Assistive Animals or animals approved for research and teaching by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IUCUC). UCR Policy 850-39; Assistive Animals (Service and Support Animals), provides guidance regarding Assistive Animals on campus. UCR Policy 529-221; AUP PROCEDURES: Filing of an Animal Use Protocol (AUP), provides guidance regarding animals used for University related research and teaching.



  II.  Definitions


·       Assistive Animals:  Refer to UCR Policy 850-39; Assistive Animals (Service and Support Animals).


·       Domesticated Animals:  Animals that are sufficiently tame to live with a family.


·       Leash:  A length of chain, rope, or strap attached to the collar or harness of an animal, especially a dog, and used to lead it or hold it in check.


·       Pets:  Domesticated Animals that are traditionally kept in the home for pleasure rather than for commercial purposes. These may include but are not limited to dogs, cats, birds, rodents, rabbits, fish, and turtles. With the exception of turtles and for the purpose of this policy, reptiles are not considered Pets.


·      University Facilities:  Refers to all buildings and grounds, including athletic and recreational fields, on the campus.



III.  Policy


UC Riverside is not responsible for the care or supervision of any pet brought onto University Facilities. While on campus, pets must be attended to and restrained at all times (i.e., controlled by the responsible individual with a leash attached to a collar or harness worn by the animal or by being kept in an appropriately sized cage or container). All pets brought on to University Facilities must meet applicable regulatory requirements for vaccinations and licensing. Pets that pose an immediate threat to the safety of individuals are not allowed on to University Facilities.  


In general, members of the campus community are prohibited from bringing pets into campus buildings. Employees may submit requests for approval of short-term exceptions lasting no longer than five days through their applicable Vice Chancellor or Dean. Students may submit requests for short-term exceptions lasting no longer than five days through the Dean of Students.


No pet may be brought onto a University Facilities fenced or unfenced outdoor event. Assistive Animals accompanied by an individual with a disability requiring its assistance may attend these events.


California state law requires every dog to be licensed locally, displaying the license tag upon the collar of the dog. Riverside County has ordinances regarding the mandatory licensing of dogs.


Guidance concerning the presence of these animals and the responsibilities of those individuals controlling the animals is necessary to preclude these pets from becoming threats, nuisances, health risks, or undesired distractions to others on campus.





 IV.  Procedures (Roles and Responsibilities)


A.   Campus Community


Every individual entering University Facilities is responsible for observing and adhering to this policy. Violations of this policy may be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with appropriate personnel policies or union contracts.



B.   Pet Owner/Handler


·       Any faculty or staff member seeking a short-term exception to this policy and wanting to bring a pet into a building controlled by UC Riverside for a period no exceeding five days must request approval from the appropriate Vice Chancellor or Dean. Written documentation detailing the reason for the request, either in hard copy or electronic format, is to be provided by the individual. Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) is notified of each approved request.


·       Every individual bringing a pet on to University Facilities is responsible for immediately collecting and properly disposing of fecal matter deposited by the pet while on campus. The waste may be collected in a plastic bag and deposited in an outdoor trash receptacle.


·       Every individual bringing a pet on to University Facilities is responsible for controlling the animal and may be liable for its conduct. An individual accompanied by a pet may be asked to immediately leave the campus with the animal if it is determined that the animal is creating a nuisance or is a safety risk. Any injury to a member of the community or damages to University Facilities by a pet will be the responsibility of the owner.


·      No pet may be left unattended or tethered to an object while on University Facilities.  Riverside County Animal Control Services will be contacted to remove and impound any unattended animal found on campus, including an animal left unattended in a private vehicle. An owner of an impounded animal is responsible for paying the cost of impounding the animal, as well as any licensing fees, as applicable.        




C.   Assistive Animals Owner/Handler


Refer to UCR Policy 850-39; Assistive Animals (Service and Support Animals).  



D.   Vice Chancellors and Deans


·         Ensure distribution of this policy throughout their organization;


·         May approved requests for short-term exceptions, not to exceed five days, for a pet to enter and remain within a building for which they are responsible;


·         Ensure all approved requests for exceptions to the policy are communicated to EH&S and are kept on file; and


·         Rescind approved short-term exceptions for failure to comply with this policy.



V.  Frequently Asked Questions

For specific issues, the following table is provided. 









Damage to Facilities

Facilities Services


Facilities Services

Damage to Grounds

Building Services


Building Services


Immediate Assistance


9-1-1 (campus phone)



Health and Safety




*Local Leash &

  Licensing  Laws

City of Riverside


Riverside Municipal Code

Nuisance Complaints

·   UCPD

·   Riverside County Animal Control Services



·   UCPD

·   Riverside Municipal Code

Research Animals




Residence Halls

UCR Housing Services




            * These leash and licensing laws are applicable only within the city of Riverside.


VI.  References and Resources

·         24 CFR 5.318 — Discretionary Pet Rules

·         28 CFR Part 35

·         California Penal Code, Section 626.6

·         California Food & Agricultural Code, Section 30502

·         California Civil Code, Section 54.1 b (6) (C)

·         California Health & Safety Code, Section 122335

·         California Penal Code 597.7

·         Riverside County, California Code of Ordinances, Chapter 6.08 – Dogs, Cats and Other Animals

·         UCR Policy 529-221; AUP PROCEDURES: Filing of an Animal Use Protocol (AUP)

·         UCR Policy 850-39; Assistive Animals (Service and Support Animals)

·         UCR Student Resident Handbook


VII.  Review and History

The policy is reviewed and updated as needed by the Policy Owner.