UBC Okanagan is considering a protocol for fair and consistent processes to address concerns relating to animals on campus.
Thank you for your comments on the proposed UBC Okanagan Pet Protocol. The consultation period is now closed and the working group is now reviewing comments from the community.
Why have a Pet Protocol?
The purpose of the proposed protocol is to:
- Clarify the expectations relating to animals on campus.
- Implement a consistent approach to approval of requests for animals on campus.
- Outline the expectations of animal owners/animals when requests are approved.
- Develop processes to address concerns in a fair and consistent manner.
- Educate the campus community on the expectations relating to animals on campus.
The protocol is intended to address a variety of situations that have emerged or could arise from the lack of a consistent approach to allowing animals on campus:
- Some members of the campus community bring their animals to campus without first making any formal request, while others who place a request to bring an animal to campus may have their request declined due to internal unit or department policy. This results in inequity between those who make formal requests and those who do not.
- Cultural sensitivity and/or fear. Some members of the campus community may be uncomfortable around animals for a variety of reasons—and while some people may express their concerns, it is understood that concerns of this nature may be under-reported.
- Liability/safety. Accredited service animals require a certain amount of liability insurance. The unpredictable nature of animals presents a possible safety concern to the campus community.
- Cleanliness/potential allergens. The presence of pets may negatively affect the cleanliness of campus, as well as expose sensitive community members to potential allergens.
- Interference with working animals such as service dogs, B.A.R.K. dogs, and research animals.
- Worker productivity associated with training dogs on campus during regular work hours.
- Competing accommodations such as service dogs conflicting with Emotional Support Animals (ESAs).
Where did the draft protocol come from?
A working group was formed to address concerns such as those listed above, and determine the most fair and appropriate way in which to address them. Members include:
- Carleigh Benoit, WRAP Coordinator, Human Resources
- Troy Campbell, Acting Associate Director, Campus Security
- Shannon Dunn, Director, Business Operations
- Freya Green, B.A.R.K. Program Coordinator
- Adrian Hingston, Associate Director, Health, Safety and Environment
- Shelley Kayfish, Director, Campus Operations and Risk Management
- Michelle Lowton, Director, Student Development and Advising
- Earllene Roberts, Manager, Disability Resource Centre
- Roger Wilson, Director, Health and Wellness
Currently in draft form, the Pet Protocol specifies that animals would be prohibited from campus unless they fit into one or more of these categories:
- Guide and service dogs — dogs certified under the BC Guide Dog and Service Dog Act by BC Security Programs Division (or equivalent)
- Approved emotional support animals
- Working B.A.R.K. dogs
All other pets would be restricted from campus.
In all cases where animals are permitted on campus, the owner is responsible for ensuring that the presence of the animal does not inappropriately disrupt the normal business operations of the campus nor create undue safety concerns for the animal, the handler or other members of the campus community.
Animals (both certified and non-certified) are prohibited from areas of campus in which food is prepared, processed, or stored.
Approvals for Animals on Campus
The process for approval would vary by category.
- Guide and service dogs: Allowed on campus per their license without prior approval.
- Emotional support animals:
- Students: Applications would be submitted to the Disability Resource Centre for consideration by Dean/Administrative Head of Unit or Student Housing and Hospitality Services.
- Faculty and staff: Applications would be submitted to Human Resources (WRAP)
- B.A.R.K. dogs: Normally only permitted on campus during formal B.A.R.K. events.
- For B.A.R.K. dogs to be brought into local work areas prior to and/or following the B.A.R.K. events, a one-time approval would be required by Deans/Directors.
- Faculty and staff: Applications would be submitted to applicable Dean/Director for review and final approval. Deans/Directors would work with Human Resources (WRAP) to assess suitability of B.A.R.K. dogs in local work areas