Animals and Pets on Campus

  1. Summary.

    Ringling College prohibits animals in any College-controlled buildings, except for those animals that are specifically exempted by this policy. In addition, while on College-controlled property, animals must be attended and restrained at all times.

  2. Purpose.

    While Ringling College appreciates the special nature of the owner-pet relationship, the College is a workplace and residence for many people and the welfare of the entire community must be considered paramount. The College recognizes that animals have the potential to impose on the safety, health, personal well-being and comfort of faculty, staff, students, and visitors as well as the sanitation, housekeeping and physical condition of the College-controlled buildings and property. Animals are restricted on College-controlled property to provide a safe and healthful environment for members of the Ringling College community to study, work, and live; to preserve the integrity of its grounds, buildings, and other property; and to comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
  3. Policy Statement.

    The College prohibits individuals from bringing dogs, cats, or other pets and animals inside any College-controlled buildings, except for those animals that are exempted from this policy. In addition, while on College-controlled property, animals must be attended and restrained at all times.

    This policy applies to all College-controlled buildings, grounds, and spaces. This includes, but is not limited to, such facilities as classrooms, libraries, studios, food service areas, private offices, administrative spaces, or public access areas.

    The College may require any person with an animal to remove the animal from College controlled property. In the event a visitor who is not a regular member of the Ringling College community brings an animal or pet onto College-controlled property, these animals are prohibited from Collegecontrolled buildings, unless exempted by this policy. Any dog, cat, or other animal brought to Collegecontrolled property must be licensed and fully inoculated in accordance with local regulations, with the burden of proof on the owner to demonstrate their compliance. Fecal matter deposited by any dog, cat, or other animal brought to College controlled property must be removed immediately and disposed of properly by the owner. If the owner is personally unable to perform this task, the burden is on the animal owner to arrange for removal of fecal matter. Animal owners are responsible for any damage caused by their pets.

    When Public Safety observes or is made aware of an unrestrained or unattended animal, a reasonable attempt will be made to locate the animal’s owner. Public Safety will remind pet owners of the policy and ask that the animal be taken home. If attempts to locate the owner are unsuccessful, the office will arrange to have the animal removed from College property.

    Whenever possible, Public Safety will use a no-kill pet shelter for relocating stray animals.

    Faculty, staff, and students who fail to comply or who interfere with the implementation of this policy, will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the appropriate disciplinary procedures for employees and students.

    To report a violation of this policy, contact the Office of Public Safety at (941) 359-7500.

  4. Exemptions.
    1. Animals used for approved educational purposes. Approval by the Vice President for Academic Affairs is required according to the procedures below.
    2. Service Animals performing their duties (see definition) (procedures can be found in Procedures for Service Animals and ESAs, in the Student Handbook.)
    3. Service Animals-in-training participating in Ringling College’s approved programs (see definition) (procedures can be found in Procedures for Service Animals and ESAs, in the Student Handbook.)
    4. Emotional Support Animals (procedures can be found in Procedures for Service Animals and ESAs, in the Student Handbook.)
    5. One-Time events involving animals. Approval by the Vice President for Student Life is required, according to the procedures below.
  5. Procedures for Requesting an Exemption for Educational Purposes.

    Exemptions must be registered by the requestor with the Office of Public Safety. Owners of animals approved for an exemption will be required to provide a Veterinarian Verification showing proof of upto-date inoculations. To be granted such an exemption, an individual must make a specific request by filling out a Request for Animal on Campus Form.

    One-time exemptions may be granted by the Vice President for Student Life for events involving animals.

    Individuals seeking permission to have an animal for educational purposes in the degree program or the non-degree programs should contact the Office of Academic Affairs for approval by the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

    Other inquiries should be directed to the Vice President for Student Life.

    Exemptions must be approved by the Vice President of Student Life or the Vice President of Academic Affairs, and registered with the Office of Public Safety.

    Procedures for Service Animal or Emotional Support Animal owners/handlers seeking exemption as a reasonable accommodation for a disability can be found in the Service Animal and Emotional Support Animal Procedures, in the Student Handbook.
  6. Appendix of Definitions
    1. College-controlled buildings and property: building or property that is owned, operated, or maintained by Ringling College.
    2. Attended and Restrained: in the immediate vicinity of the owner or handler, and either on a leash of six feet or shorter, in a cage, or in the case of a service animal, voice or signal controlled. To be attended, an animal may not be left fastened to a stationary object.
    3. College Residential Housing: College housing provided for students including: Goldstein; Appleton, Idelson & Harmon; Keating; Ulla Searing Student Center; The Cove; Roy & Susan Palmer Quadrangle; Bayou Village Apartments; 2409 Bradenton Road; Near Campus Houses.
    4. Service Animal: as defined by the ADA, any dog (or miniature horse), individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, pulling a wheelchair, fetching dropped items, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, or performing other duties. Crime deterrence, emotional support and/or companionship are not “work” or “tasks” that qualify an animal as a “service animal.” A miniature horse may be a service animal under this policy if (1) the miniature horse is housebroken; (2) is under the owner’s control; (3) the premises or facility can accommodate its type, size, and weight; and (4) its presence will not compromise legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operation of the facility or the program.
    5. Service Animal In-Training: a dog (or in some cases a miniature horse) that is being trained to serve as a service animal. Service animals in training must already be obedience trained, and undergoing specific training related to the tasks that they will provide. The animal must be housebroken and controlled.
    6. Emotional Support Animal: animals that provide a sense of safety, companionship, and comfort to those with documented disabilities, and the animal is necessary to afford the person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy the residential facility.