Animals on Campus Policy

Custodian of Policy: VP Finance & Administration

Effective Date: Current

Last Review: Fall 2022

Next Review: Fall 2029


It is the policy of Minnesota State University Moorhead to provide a safe environment for all students, employees, visitors and guests by establishing and enforcing regulations for animals on campus. This policy and any related procedures apply to all areas and all members of the campus community, as well as all individuals using the campus grounds or buildings, including leased properties.


Animals are hereby defined as invertebrate ("without backbones", e.g. worms, crustaceans, mollusk, insects, arachnids) and vertebrate ("back-boned", e.g., fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals) animals. Dangerous animals are defined as those potentially jeopardizing to the health and welfare of humans by reason of their size and ferocious nature, breeding, carrier of human disease and parasites, and possession of venom.



  1. Any animal directly serving an individual with a disability as identified in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is EXEMPT from the provisions of this policy.
  2. Animals including dangerous animals, used exclusively for university related educational purposes are EXEMPT from this policy provided that the sponsoring department assume the responsibility for their housing, maintenance and supervision under the codes already established for and adopted by that department for animal care.
  3. Certain EXEMPTIONS may apply to the occupants of residence halls. Consult Residence hall regulations.


  1. No person shall bring an animal onto the university campus unless:
    • The animal is secured to a leash no more than six (6) feet in length and in the hand of a person at all times or the animal is secured or confined in a vehicle or container so as to prevent reaching beyond the exterior limits of the vehicle or container. Any vehicle or container, which does not enclose the animal on all sides, does not meet the requirements of this policy.
    • No person shall tie, tether, or secure any animal, whether attended or unattended, licensed or unlicensed, to any object other than within a vehicle or container that complies with this policy; at any time, on the MSUM campus.
    • The animal, when required, displays a current license.
    • The animal's behavior, e.g. barking, is not counterproductive or disruptive to the mission of the university.
    • The animal's fecal waste shall be collected and placed in a proper receptacle by keeper.
  2. No person shall harbor, maintain, or sustain any animal in any vehicle or non-instructional area of the MSUM campus. Animals are strictly prohibited within any building other than to comply with ADA or educational purposes.
  3. Events that bring animals to campus are also prohibited.
  4. Any entity on campus that wishes to use animals for research teaching and/ or display must submit and have a protocol approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee for such animal use. (Contact current chairperson as listed on MSUM Academic Affairs website)


Violations of this policy should be reported to Public Safety, 477-2449. Disciplinary actions may be taken.