Housing

Housing

Pet Policy

Background

Eckerd College is unique in allowing resident students the privilege of having their family pets live with them on campus. The future of this pet privilege rests upon the successful administration of the policy and the willingness of students to abide by, and enforce, the policy.

Purpose

It is the purpose of Eckerd College Pet Life to provide a safe environment for members of the Eckerd College community and to protect, maintain, and regulate the pet ownership privilege enjoyed by members of the community. It is the responsibility of the pet owner to protect the rights of all students as well as the physical beauty of the campus. The Pet Policy provides the guidelines by which this can be accomplished. By bringing a pet to campus, the student has indicated an understanding of the policy and has agreed to the conditions and penalties therein. Every pet owner is encouraged to consider carefully the advantages and disadvantages of the campus environment for his/her individual pet.

The Pet Life Staff works in conjunction with the Eckerd College Organization of Students (ECOS) and the Office of Residence Life. The Staff consists of students, both pet owners and non-pet owners, as well as Student Affairs staff members who have the task of administering the Pet Policy. The Staff also has the power to levy fines and remove problem pets from campus. The Pet Life Staff, with the approval of the Dean of Students or his/her designee, is responsible for budgeting registration money to make improvements to this policy and the procedures dictated by it.

Glossary of Terms

What is a animal?
Cats, dogs (under 40 pounds), rabbits, ducks, large birds, ferrets, and chinchillas are considered Animals, and must be properly registered with Pet Life before residing on campus. Cats and dogs must be at least one year old and have lived with the student or the student’s family for at least ten months prior to living on-campus. An Animal can be registered with Pet Life, either online or in the Pet Life Office located in Brown Hall. Animals are only permitted in official Animal Friendly Houses and designated areas on campus.  All Animals must attend pet registration, which takes place at the beginning of the Fall and Spring Semesters.

The acquisition of a dog or cat, purchased, fostered, adopted, or stray, while a residential student at Eckerd is prohibited.

What is a small pet?
Fish, small birds, rats, hedgehogs, hamsters, sugar gliders, gerbils, guinea pigs, amphibians, and small reptiles are considered Small Pets and must be properly registered with the Pet Life Staff before residing on campus. Small Pets can be registered online or in the Pet Life Office located in Brown Hall. Small Pets are permitted in all housing complexes.

What is a visiting animal?
Any animal being brought onto campus for day visits. This includes family Animals being brought onto campus by parents, siblings, guardians, etc. for any period of time. Visiting Animals are not allowed to reside on campus overnight without prior approval. All Visiting Animals must be registered with Pet Life, prior to being brought on campus. Visiting Animals can be registered online or in the Pet Life Office located in Brown Hall.

Pet Life Staff has the final authority to decide which pets, domestic animals, or other animals are permitted to reside or visit campus.

Pets Permitted on Campus

Small pets are permitted in all complexes as long as they are secured in a cage with a lid. Snakes must be less than four feet long and non-venomous. A wet aquarium should not exceed twenty gallons. A terrarium may not exceed 40 gallons. Cage size cannot exceed four feet tall or four feet wide. Each student may have an aquarium or a terrarium or a four foot cage. Students may not have more than two of these three options. These are permitted per student, not per room.

Dogs may not exceed forty pounds in weight when fully grown. Pit bulls, Rottweilers, wolf breeds, any aggressive breed, or any mix containing these, are not allowed on-campus at any time. Owners are not permitted to breed any animal or small pet for food or other purposes.

The acquisition of a dog or cat, purchased, fostered, adopted, or stray, while a residential student at Eckerd is prohibited.

Exotic animals (excluding sugar gliders) are not allowed on-campus.

Freshmen may have an Animal after living on the Eckerd College campus for one semester, provided that their Animal meets the requirements stated within this policy. These students must reside in designated Animal Friendly Housing and will be required to properly register the Animal with Pet Life.

Number of Animals/Small Pets

On-campus residents are permitted ONE Animal OR TWO Small Pets.  Students residing in Omega Suites are permitted no more than two Animals per suite. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Registration and Inoculation

All Animals or Small Pets on campus must be registered on the Pet Life website (www.eckerd.edu/housing/petlife).

All Animals must be registered prior to residing on campus.  Failure to register the Animal prior to bringing the Animal to campus will result in an immediate $150.00 fine.

Although there is not a registration fee, small pets will need to be registered with the Pet Council. All small pet registrations are valid for one academic year.

The registration fee for Animals will be $125.00 for the entire academic year.  The fee includes a veterinarian visit at the beginning of the Fall and Spring Semesters and flea treatment for the entire year. The registration fee will be charged to the student’s account by the Housing office. There will also be a rolling registration period before and after the veterinarian visit. Any Animals/Pets brought to campus after the registration period ends must be pre-registered and registered within five academic days.

Students are permitted to have their Animals with them on campus during the summer.  The registration fee for Animals is $25.00 for each summer term.

Eckerd ID tags will be provided to the Animal during registration, and it is expected that the Animal will wear this ID tag at all times.

Certification of all appropriate vaccinations must be presented when registering. Dogs and cats are required to be spayed or neutered, and certification that this procedure has been performed must be provided when registering. Owners also must present certification from their veterinarian that the dog or cat has been in the family for at least ten months.

Day students should follow the same regulations as residential students when registering their Animal/Pet with the Pet Life Staff. The student should notify Pet Council where the Animal/Pet will be on campus and what provisions will be made for the Animal/Pet while the student is on campus or in class. Day student registration fees are $50.00.

Faculty and Staff members are permitted to bring their Animals/Small Pets to campus, including their offices, but must register prior to bringing Animal/Small Pets to campus.

All Animals and Small Pets must be in good health while residing on campus. The College’s veterinarian can make a recommendation to the Pet Council regarding any animal that is unfit to live on campus.

Rules of Conduct

1.     Animal/Small Pet Owner assumes all responsibility for Animal/Small Pet actions regardless of circumstances.

2.     Animals/Small Pets may not be left on-campus unattended over any breaks.

3.     Eckerd Animal ID Tags will be issued to all Animals (except Visiting Animals) and must be worn at all times, along with a Vet issued Rabies Tag.

4.     All Animals/Small Pets must reside with the person they are registered to.

5.     All Animals must be housebroken.

6.     Animals are only allowed in Animal-Friendly Housing Buildings, Brown Hall, and other areas designated by the Dean of Students.

7.     All Animals must be on a leash at all times while outside.  Under no circumstances are animals/pets allowed to run around outside unsupervised.  This includes all athletic fields.

8.     Animals/Small Pets are not allowed on any Eckerd Watercraft without prior approval from the Pet Life Staff.

9.     Animals/Small Pets are not allowed in residence hall bathrooms or drip-dry rooms.

10.   Animal/Small Pet Owners are responsible for ensuring Animals/Small Pets are cleaned up after.

11.   All Animals/Small Pets must be crated, caged, stationed, or in terrarium/aquarium when left unattended in room.

12.   No Animal or Small Pet may exhibit any aggressive behavior towards humans or other Animals/Small Pets. This is determined on a case by case basis by the Pet Life Staff. The Pet Life Staff may refer the case to the Office of Community Standards for conduct action.

13.   Facilities staff may not enter a room to make repairs or spray for bugs if a pet is inside. Pet owners should call Facilities Management to make arrangements in this case.

14.   Owner negligence or mistreatment of a pet will not be tolerated. The Pet Council may refer the case to the Office of Community Standards for conduct action.

15.   Pets attacking other animals or humans will not be tolerated. The Pet Council may refer the case to the Office for Community Standards for conduct action.

16.   Failure to remove a pet from campus will result in a fine and/or conduct action.

Failure to comply with the Pet Policy and/or requests of the Pet Life Staff, may result in a fine, conduct action, or additional action deemed necessary by the College.

Owner Responsibility

In accordance with Pinellas County Law Chapter 14, Section 14-63, dogs and cats must be on a leash or tether when outside of their owner’s residence hall room.

Abandonment, neglect and mistreatment of any Animal/Pet by any member of Eckerd College will not be tolerated. No warnings will be issued. In the case of abuse, the pet will be removed from the situation in order to prevent contact with the person(s) responsible for the abuse. These actions will be subject to the discretion of the Pet Life Staff and possible referral to the Office of Community Standards for conduct action.

Questions of what is appropriate or inappropriate for an Animal/Pet to eat will be determined by the Pet Life Staff and the veterinarian that is hired by Eckerd College to advise the Staff and check Animals/Small Pets during registration days.

No Animal/Small Pet is allowed to become a nuisance to the members of the Eckerd College community. A nuisance is defined as, but is not limited to, excessive noise, physical harm to humans or other animals/pets, and destruction of property. The Pet Life Staff reserves the right to deem any other act a nuisance.

Animal/Small Pet owners are responsible for any damage to College property that their animal/small pet may cause.  This may include any flea treatment that may be needed in a residence room/hall.

Visitors, Faculty, and Staff

A visiting animal may not stay on campus overnight without prior approval of the Pet Life Staff. Written requests must be submitted to the Pet Life Staff one week before the animal's arrival. Students are responsible for the actions of the visitor's animal.

Faculty and staff must register their animals with the Pet Life Staff in order to bring the animals to campus.

Professional staff members, who maintain permanent residence on campus, may own a registered animal in any residence apartment. These individuals are not exempt from Pet Policy regulations and are expected to follow the intent of these standards, specifically regarding animal ownership and supervision.

Appeals to the Pet Life Staff

If an Animal/Small Pet owner wants to submit or present an appeal because his/her Animal/Small Pet does not meet the requirements stated in the Pet Policy, he/she must do so prior to bringing the Animal/Pet to campus. An Appeal Form can be found online (www.eckerd.edu/housing/petlife/appeal/php).

The Pet Life Staff has authority to determine the outcomes of appeals, whether to place an owner on pet probation, and/or restrict any pet from residing and/or visiting campus.

Appeals to the Pet Life Staff form

Complaints

The Eckerd College Pet Council will meet as necessary to consider complaints. General meetings are open to all students, faculty, or staff that wish to address the Council. 

Each complaint will be handled on an individual basis. The severity of the offense and the discretion of the Pet Council will determine actions taken. Actions may include, but are not limited to warnings, fines, removal of the pet from campus, conduct action, and/or other acts deemed necessary by the Pet Council. Non-compliance with any Pet Council decision may result in the loss of the privilege to reside in campus pet housing.  

Please note that unless a complaint form is submitted, no action will be taken.  The Pet Life Staff reserves the right to refer any complaint to the Office of Community Standards.

Complaint Procedure

The Eckerd College Pet Life Staff will meet as necessary to consider complaints. General meetings are open to all students, faculty, or staff who wish to address the Pet Life Staff. Any member of the Eckerd College community may file a confidential complaint with the Pet Life Staff regarding any Animal/Small Pet. The complaint may address any form of misconduct or rule violation on the part of the Animal/Small Pet or owner. The Animal/Small Pet Complaint Form can be found online (www.eckerd.edu/housing/petlife/complaint/php).

Each complaint will be handled on an individual basis. The severity of the offense and the discretion of the Pet Life Staff will determine actions taken. Actions may include, but are not limited to, warnings, fines, and removal of the Animal/Small Pet from campus, conduct action, and/or other acts deemed necessary by the Pet Life Staff. Non-compliance with any Pet Life decision may result in the loss of the privilege to reside in campus Animal Friendly Housing.

The Pet Life Staff reserves the right to refer any complaint to the Office of Community Standards.

Emotional Support Animals and Service Animals

Only animals classified as Emotional Support Animals and/or Service Animals, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended, the Fair Housing Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, are allowed to live on-campus outside the guidelines established by the Pet Policy.

Emotional Support Animals and Service Animals are approved through Accessible Education Services, and are not classified as pets.  As a result, Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals are encouraged, but not required, to be registered with the Pet Council.

Students with Emotional Support Animals and Service Animals are encouraged to contact Accessible Education Services prior to bringing their animal on campus.  Accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis, pursuant to the College's AES policies.

Questions regarding these policies should be directed to Scott Strader, PhD, Director of Counseling & Accessible Education Services, and the designated Section 504 Disability Coordinator, at 727-864-8248 or aes@eckerd.edu.

Florida Laws

According to Florida State Laws the Eckerd College Pet Life Staff would like to include the following laws that pertain to our campus and interactions with pets and animals in the State of Florida. These laws are important to keeping pets and animals safe while they are on the Eckerd College campus. The EC Pet Life Staff would like to inform faculty, staff, and students we will report any action that takes place while on campus. The laws are as follows:

Title XLVI
CRIMES

Chapter 828
ANIMALS: CRUELTY; SALES; ANIMAL ENTERPRISE PROTECTION

828.12 Cruelty to animals.--

(1) A person who unnecessarily overloads, overdrives, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance or shelter, or unnecessarily mutilates, or kills any animal, or causes the same to be done, or carries in or upon any vehicle, or otherwise, any animal in a cruel or inhumane manner, is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.

(2) A person who intentionally commits an act to any animal which results in the cruel death, or excessive or repeated infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering, or causes the same to be done, is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or by a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.

(a) A person convicted of a violation of this subsection, where the finder of fact determines that the violation includes the knowing and intentional torture or torment of an animal that injures, mutilates, or kills the animal, shall be ordered to pay a minimum mandatory fine of $2,500 and undergo psychological counseling or complete an anger management treatment program.

(b) Any person convicted of a second or subsequent violation of this subsection shall be required to pay a minimum mandatory fine of $5,000 and serve a minimum mandatory period of incarceration of 6 months. In addition, the person shall be released only upon expiration of sentence, shall not be eligible for parole, control release, or any form of early release, and must serve 100 percent of the court-imposed sentence. Any plea of nolo contendere shall be considered a conviction for purposes of this subsection.

(3) A veterinarian licensed to practice in the state shall be held harmless from either criminal or civil liability for any decisions made or services rendered under the provisions of this section. Such a veterinarian is, therefore, under this subsection, immune from a lawsuit for his or her part in an investigation of cruelty to animals.

(4) A person who intentionally trips, fells, ropes, or lassos the legs of a horse by any means for the purpose of entertainment or sport shall be guilty of a third degree felony, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. As used in this subsection, "trip" means any act that consists of the use of any wire, pole, stick, rope, or other apparatus to cause a horse to fall or lose its balance, and "horse" means any animal of any registered breed of the genus Equus, or any recognized hybrid thereof. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply when tripping is used:

(a) To control a horse that is posing an immediate threat to other livestock or human beings;

(b) For the purpose of identifying ownership of the horse when its ownership is unknown; or

(c) For the purpose of administering veterinary care to the horse

Title XLVI
CRIMES

Chapter 828
ANIMALS: CRUELTY; SALES; ANIMAL ENTERPRISE PROTECTION

View Entire Chapter

828.13 Confinement of animals without sufficient food, water, or exercise; abandonment of animals.--

(1) As used in this section:

(a) "Abandon" means to forsake an animal entirely or to neglect or refuse to provide or perform the legal obligations for care and support of an animal by its owner.

(b) "Owner" includes any owner, custodian, or other person in charge of an animal.

(2) Whoever:

(a) Impounds or confines any animal in any place and fails to supply the animal during such confinement with a sufficient quantity of good and wholesome food and water,

(b) Keeps any animals in any enclosure without wholesome exercise and change of air, or

(c) Abandons to die any animal that is maimed, sick, infirm, or diseased, is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or by both imprisonment and a fine.

(3) Any person who is the owner or possessor, or has charge or custody, of any animal who abandons such animal to suffer injury or malnutrition or abandons any animal in a street, road, or public place without providing for the care, sustenance, protection, and shelter of such animal is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or by both imprisonment and a fine.

The Eckerd College Pet Policy is adopted from Florida State Law.

Hurricane Evacuations and Campus Breaks

Evacuations - During any evacuation of campus, all Animals and Small Pets are to be removed from campus for their own safety. Animal/Small Pet owners must remember that during an evacuation, no one remains on campus, and all power is shut down in the buildings; therefore, abandoned Animals/Small Pets may suffer from hunger and be subjected to discomfort. There will be no exception to this rule. Registration records will be provided to the Residence Life Office so that during Health and Safety checks, staff can confirm that these Animals/Small Pets have been removed during the evacuation. Students found responsible for abandoning an Animal/Small Pet will be fined and placed on Animal/Small Pet Probation, refer to Florida Laws Section for information regarding Animal abandonment laws. Prior to an evacuation, the Pet Life Staff will distribute information to all students regarding safe evacuation of Animals/Small Pets and Hurricane Shelter Information. For these shelters, you must register in advance. Please contact the Staff for more information.

Campus Breaks - During any campus break in which the Animal/Small Pet owner will be away from campus (Fall Break, Thanksgiving, Winter Break, Spring Break, Summer Break, etc.), it is expected that the Animal/Small Pet owner will remove the Animal/Small Pet from campus. There will be no exception to this rule, and Animal/Small Pet owners found in non-compliance will be subjected to fines and/or disciplinary action and may be placed on Animal/Small Pet Probation.Failure to comply with the Pet Policy and/or requests of the Pet Life Staff may result in fines, conduct action, and/or additional action deemed necessary by the College.

Pet Life

Pet Life

Phone: (727) 864-7538
Email: petlife@eckerd.edu

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