Approved by President’s Cabinet 3/28/17

In this policy you will find the following pieces of information in support of our proposed pet policy.

I. Challenges and Concerns of Pet Ownership: Exploring the potential challenges associated with pet ownership, identifying proactive measures that should be taken to alleviate these challenges and proposing possible remedies if challenges arise.

II. Pet Ownership Guidelines: Identifying the minimum standards for pet ownership to protect the owner, the pet, and the college.

        1. Pet Specifications
        2. Verification of Good Pet Health
        3. Facilities Guidelines
        4. Grounds Guidelines
        5. Accountability Guidelines
        6. Community Guidelines
        7. Renters Insurance Guidelines

III. Sample Forms: Forms that must be completed prior to and during pet ownership.

IV. Supporting Research: Current policies of other Georgia institutions of higher education.

If this proposal seems incomplete and/or you feel that key concerns have been overlooked, we welcome your feedback so that we may further research those issues prior to our meeting time.

I. Challenges and Concerns regarding Pet Ownership

      • Destruction of college property/damage to apartment
        Solution: Live-in/on staff members agree to pay a pet deposit in addition to signing an assumption of liability agreement (Form V.4.) that states they would pay any additional damage charges over and above their deposit amount.
      • Irresponsible pet ownership
        Solution: The creation and implementation of a tiered accountability policy that ultimately results in revocation of rights to pet ownership. In addition, animals may not be left unattended overnight unless prior arrangements have been made to care for the animal. If the owner must be away, they must either take the animal with them, make arrangements for them to be cared for elsewhere, or make arrangements with another professional staff member to attend to the animal in the owner’s absence.
      • Possession of a dangerous or aggressive animals
        Solution: All pet requests must be approved in advance by the Director of Housing and Residence Life. No pets over 30 lbs will be permitted to live in the residence halls, and will be limited to specified types of animals (Reference IV.A. Types of Pets).
      • Student allergies to animals could result in a risk to student health
        Solution: EGSC students are not permitted within professional live-in/live-on staff apartments. All interactions with students in the scope of professional duties must be conducted outside of the professional staff member’s personal living space. There are designated campus offices in which interactions occur, and pets will not be permitted in these areas. The animal will never be allowed in office spaces, communal spaces (other than the campus grounds), or student residences.
      • Future occupants may be allergic to residual animal dander
        Solution: Rigid and specific cleaning standards must be set and enforced by the Office of Housing. If any item cannot be cleaned or repaired to departmental standards, the individual will take responsibility for replacement/cleaning charges (first deducted from deposit, and then paid above and beyond as agreed upon in the pet agreement).
      • Students could be disgruntled because they cannot have a pet of their own in the halls
        Solution: Students with specific accommodation requests are eligible for emotional support animals as long as they can show a documented need for such an animal for maintenance of emotional health and mental stability. For those unable to provide this level of documentation, educational conversations/programs with students regarding the differences between full-time live-in professionals who call EGSC their permanent residence and students who have a permanent residence away from campus should take place. This is a teaching and learning opportunity for staff and students alike.
      • Pets may be noisy and disrupt the learning environment
        Solution: If noise becomes an issue, obedience training to minimize the possibility of noise and behavioral problems in the future would be mandated as a condition for maintaining pet ownership. Anyone who cannot control their animal after appropriate training will have the privilege revoked. As stated in the accountability policy, the pet owner will have 1 week to get noise violations under control and then further points will be added. If a pet owner cannot get his/her pet under control within 4 weeks of initial notification, they will temporarily lose the privilege of having a pet on campus. While the pet is away, the opportunity exists for further obedience training. If the pet then returns to campus in a subsequent term and is still noisy, the pet privilege will be revoked.

II. Guidelines for pet ownership

    1. Pet Specifications:
      Allowable types of pets Pets at or under 30 lbs in weight when fully grown (12 months old or older), examples include dogs, domestic cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, frogs, turtles, monitor lizards, hermit crabs, non-carnivorous fish, birds (parrots, parakeets, love birds, etc. as well as finches), ferrets, gerbils, and chinchillas will be considered acceptable pets. The staff member is responsible for knowing breed standards prior to pet adoption and making pet selections based on those standards if adopting a juvenile animal. Snakes, insects, arachnids and exotic animals are prohibited. Dogs with a propensity for viciousness such as Rottweiler’s, Pit bulls, Doberman pinschers, etc. will not be permitted no matter the weight of the animal. Each staff member will be allowed no more than 2 pets at any given time (if you have two pets those pets total weight combined must not exceed 45 lbs), and each pet must be approved and have an associated pet deposit.

    2. Verification of Good Pet Health: Vaccinations and Immunizations
      Staff must provide proof of all necessary shots and immunizations, including rabies vaccinations, utilizing the pet registration form as well as by submitting copies of shot records for the pet’s file. In addition, dog and cat pets must be utilizing some type of flea control.

    3. Facilities Guidelines
      Staff must pay a non-refundable pet deposit in an amount to be set from time to time by registration with Corvias and College, which will be used for carpet/upholstery deep cleaning when the apartment is next vacated. The pet owner is responsible for payment of damages above and beyond the deposit. Corvias will deep clean the apartment including upholstery and carpet shampooing at the end of a pro staff residency term (end of employment period).

      If at any time the unit has a flea infestation, the staff member will be responsible for paying for the appropriate treatment of the apartment by our college pest control vendor. The employee will be required to pay the baseline cost of treatment of the unit, to be set from time to time by registration with Corvias and College. This will NOT be drawn from the deposit and must be paid at the time service is rendered.

      Upon vacating the apartment, a black light inspection will be conducted to check for residual urine stains. If urine is detected, the staff member will be given an opportunity to clean the carpets and walls themselves. If upon a second inspection held no later than 72 hours after the initial inspection the apartment continues to fail inspection, the carpet may need to be replaced at the expense of the pet owner. The final determination of need for carpet replacement will be made by the Director of Housing.

    4. Grounds Guidelines
      Outside the facilities and on college property, the pet may urinate and defecate only on dirt and grassy areas directly outside the apartment of the staff member. They may not defecate on sidewalks, walking paths or paved areas. The pet owner is required to properly dispose of solid waste with a pooper scooper, placing excrement in a bag and disposing in an outside dumpster. Fecal matter should never be disposed of in any trash receptacle or through the sewer system inside any building at the college. The pet must be on a lead or in a closed and secured pet carrier whenever they are on campus property outside of the staff member’s apartment.

    5. Community Guidelines
      Residents will be notified at the floor meeting of the presence of the animal in the hall. They will also be informed of their rights to a quiet and studious environment as well as the formal complaint process if issues arise concerning the animal. The pet should not pose a significant danger to the residents of the hall or community. Pursuant to this, the following guidelines have been established:
        1. Pet owner is required to sign an assumption of liability statement indicating personal responsibility for any injury caused by the pet.
        2. Pet is limited to be only in the staff member’s apartment and the outside grounds. Pets are not permitted inside any other campus facility. Pets must be on a lead or in a secured carrier when on campus grounds exterior of the owner’s apartment.
        3. A “pet in residence” door sticker no smaller than 3” in diameter must be placed on all exterior doors for units containing pets.
        4. Staff member is responsible for keeping the pet contained during times when facility services or custodial must enter the unit for cleaning and/or repair work.
    6. Accountability Guidelines
      Complaints and concerns about noise, pests, odor, threat or danger of pet will be logged with the Director of Housing. The Director of Housing will impose the following system of accountability for professional staff members with pets. Note that this is the baseline standard of accountability and that the Director of Housing reserves the right to revoke pet privileges at any time. The determination of an immediate threat may warrant intervention by animal control to immediately remove the animal from the premises.
      Pet Ownership Accountability Policy

      The pet ownership accountability policy is designed to fairly and consistently assess repercussions whenever a pet and/or owner are in violation of the stated policies. When at all possible, this accountability process will be followed. The Director of Housing may revoke pet ownership privileges at their discretion as deemed necessary.

      Discipline Level Description Point Level
      Verbal Warning All infractions of stated expectations for pet ownership will result in a verbal warning. The number of earned points will determine whether additional measures will need to be taken. This warning will serve to make the pet owner aware of the problem, and encourage the pet owner to take steps to remedy the problem. The owner has 7 days to take action in treating the complaint issue (exception noise violations. See explanation below.) All
      Letter of Reprimand The letter of reprimand serves as official documentation of the specific problem/violation on the part of the pet owner and specific actions that need to be taken to remedy the situation will be created. This letter will be placed in the employee’s personnel file with instructions that further infractions will result in probationary pet status. At this stage, the pet owner must submit a formal written action plan of the steps that will be taken to correct the issue. 4
      Probation During the probationary status, any infractions on the part of the pet or owner will result in loss of pet privileges for a specified term no less than 1 academic term (fall, spring, or summer). 6
      Temporary Revocation of Privilege Pet privileges are revoked for a specific period of time no less than 1 academic term. If revocation of the current registration is implemented, the pet owner will be given up to 7 days to alternately place the animal. 8
      Permanent Revocation of Privilege Pet owner will permanently lose pet privileges. Upon permanent revocation of the current registration, the pet owner will be given up to 7 days to alternately place the animal. Possession of a pet beyond that point will result in termination of employment. 10
      Discipline Level Description Point Level
      Defecation Violation Pet defecates in an unapproved area and/or the owner does not clean up the excrement. 2
      Noise Violation Pet barks and/or makes noise beyond what is acceptable under the courtesy/quiet hours requirements of the residential facilities. The pet owner will have 1 week to get the pet’s noise issues under control. If after 1 week the pet continues to create noise violations, the owner will receive another 2 points. If at 4 weeks from initial notification a pet is continuing to make unacceptable levels of noise, the owner will lose the privilege of having that pet on campus temporarily. Owner should arrange for more in depth obedience training at that point away from campus. 2
      Restraint Violation Owner does not put the pet on a lead or in a secured carrier when outside the owner’s apartment. 2
      Confinement Violation Owner does not put the pet in a secured carrier when maintenance is scheduled to enter the unit to conduct maintenance duties. This may also apply when pest control enters the unit to do their monthly spray or facility services enters the unit monthly to change the furnace filters. 2
      Apartment Cleanliness Violation The owner’s apartment is not being maintained to the standard of cleanliness outlined in the apartment cleanliness standards guide. 2
      Irresponsible Pet Ownership

      Irresponsible pet ownership occurs when one of the following situations exists: 

          • Pet litter is not being maintained (if applicable).
          • Pet is left in the apartment unattended overnight.
          • Pet is not properly bathed and groomed.
          • Pet is not fed on a regular basis.
          • Pet is not receiving routine veterinary care.
          • Pet is being abused by the owner.
      2+ (depends on severity)
      Improper Pet Documentation

      Pet is approved to be on premises, but one or more pieces of necessary documentation are missing from the pet’s file in the Office of Housing.

      Necessary documents include:

          • Pet policy request form 
          • Pet registration form 
          • Assumption of liability statement signed by owner
          • Pet in residence sticker displayed on outside door of unit
      Destruction of College Property

      Pet contributes to the significant damage of a piece of college property. This includes but is not limited to chewing, scratching, urination, defecation or otherwise harming college property

      Unregistered Pet

      Pet owner does not complete the necessary paperwork and/or receive the necessary approvals from the Director of Housing prior to bringing the pet to campus. Pet must be removed within 24 hours of discovery.

      Dangerous Pet

      If the pet at any time bites or attempts to harm a student, staff or faculty member on EGSC’s campus, the pet will be deemed unfit and must be immediately removed from the campus. If necessary, animal control may be called to remove the pet.

    7. Renter's Insurance Protection
      Participating staff members must carry and show proof of a renter’s insurance policy for their unit that will cover damages incurred by a pet which includes, but is not limited to, bystander bites and injuries and destruction of college property. A copy of the renter’s insurance policy outlining this coverage is a required part of the application process.

V.1. Sample Forms

VI. Supporting Research

A brief survey was sent out to area schools via the ONTHEGHO listserv. Their response information is listed below.

Responses received: 29

Question Yes No Notes
Do you currently allow full-time, professional, live-in/live-on staff to have pets other than fish in their apartments. 58.6% 41.4%

Southern Polytechnic:

Staff members are allowed to have cats or dogs with the following rules:

    1. If the pet is pre-existing they may bring it with them upon starting their job.
    2. If the pet is not pre-existing they must wait six months before purchasing a pet.
    3. The dog must be an approved, non-aggressive breed and it may not exceed 40 lbs. in weight.
    4. You can have a maximum of two pets.
    5. You may not have more than 40 lbs. of pet in your apartment at any given time (this rule prevents staff from having two 30-lb. dogs).
    6. During the six-month waiting period staff have to provide a plan of care for their pet that includes vaccination/vet schedule, a potty training plan and other general care.

Emory University

Cats and dogs up to 30 lbs.

Mercer University

Cats only, up to two.

Oglethorpe University

One non-aggressive pet less than 25 lbs. in weight full grown.


Only cats, no dogs. We also allow smaller caged animals like hamsters and guinea pigs.

Clayton State

Small dogs or cats only.

Point University

We have not set a limit on the number or kinds of animals allowed.