The privilege of pets living on campus

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 large pet?
Cats, dogs (under 40 pounds), rabbits, large birds, ferrets, and chinchillas are considered Large Pets, and must be properly registered with Pet Life before residing on campus. 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. Cats must be at least six months old and have lived with the student or the student’s family for at least three months prior to living on-campus. A Large Pet must be registered with Pet Life online. Large Pets are only permitted in official Large Pet Houses and designated areas on campus.  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 Pet Life before residing on campus. Small Pets must be registered online. Small Pets are permitted in all housing complexes.

What is a visiting pet?
Any pet being brought onto campus for day visits. This includes family pets being brought onto campus by parents, siblings, guardians, etc. for any period of time. Visiting pets are not allowed to reside on campus overnight without prior approval. All Visiting pets must be registered with Pet Life, prior to being brought on campus. Visiting pets must be registered online.

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

Large and Small 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. Dogs may not exhibit any aggressive behavior. Owners are not permitted to breed any animal or 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 and those animals requiring a permit under Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are not allowed on-campus.

Number of Large and Small Pets

On-campus residents are permitted ONE Large Pet OR TWO Small Pets. Students residing in Nu and Omega Suites or Sigma and West Lodge rooms are permitted no more than two Large Pets per suite. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Registration and Inoculation

All Pets must be registered and registration approved prior to residing on campus. Failure to register the Animal prior to bringing the Pet 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 Pet Life. All small pet registrations are valid for one academic year.

The registration fee for Large will be $150.00 for the entire academic year if registered prior to August 24, 2018. Registrations will still be accepted after this date, but registration fee will increase to $165.00. The fee includes flea treatment for the entire year. The registration fee will be charged to the student’s account by the Housing office.

Students are permitted to have their pets with them on campus during the summer. The Summer registration fee for Large Pets is $50.00.

Eckerd ID tags will be provided to Large Pets during registration, and it is required for Large Pets to 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 the appropriate amount of time, as defined in the Pet Policy.

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

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

Rules of Conduct

  1. Pet Owner assumes all responsibility for Pet actions regardless of circumstances.
  2. Pets may not be left on-campus unattended over any breaks.
  3. Eckerd Large ID Tags will be issued to all Large Pets (except Visiting Pets) and must be worn at all times, along with a Vet issued Rabies Tag.
  4. All Pets must reside with the person they are registered to.
  5. All Pets must be housebroken.
  6. Large Pets are only allowed in Large Pet Housing Buildings, Brown Hall, and other areas designated by the Dean of Students or his/her designee.
  7. All Large Pets must be on a leash at all times while outside, excluding the pet park. Under no circumstances are pets allowed to run around outside unsupervised. This includes all athletic fields.
  8. Under no circumstances are pets allowed to be unsupervised while outside of the owner’s residence room.
  9. Pets are not allowed on any Eckerd Watercraft.
  10. Pets are not allowed in residence hall bathrooms.
  11. Pet Owners are responsible for ensuring Pets are cleaned up after.
  12. All Pets must be crated, caged, stationed, or in terrarium/aquarium when left unattended in room.
  13. No Pet may exhibit any aggressive behavior towards humans or other Pets. This is determined on a case by case basis by Pet Life. The Pet Life Staff may refer the case to the Office of Community Standards for conduct action.
  14. 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.
  15. Owner negligence or mistreatment of a pet will not be tolerated.
  16. Pets attacking other pets or humans will not be tolerated.
  17. Failure to remove a pet from campus will result in a fine and/or conduct action.
  18. Students shall not capture any local wildlife for any purpose except that animal showing immediate signs of injury. In the event of injured wildlife, students shall make attempts to contact Pinellas Animal Services (727-582-2600) or Campus Safety (727-864-8260)

All incidents will be deferred to the Office of Community Standards for conduct review. Cases may be remanded to Pet Life depending on the nature of the incident.

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. On a leash is defined as a physical tether between the owner and the animal.

Abandonment, neglect and mistreatment of any 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 a Pet to eat will be determined by the Pet Life Staff and the veterinarian that is hired by Eckerd College.

No 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.

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

Visitors, Faculty, and Staff

A visiting pet may not stay on campus overnight without prior approval of the Pet Life Staff. Visiting Pets must be registered with Pet Life at least one week prior to their intended arrival. Students are responsible for the actions of the visitor’s pet.

Professional staff members, who maintain permanent residence on campus, may own a registered pet 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 a Pet owner wants to submit or present a Pet Policy Appeal because the Pet does not meet the requirements stated in the Pet Policy, the student must do so prior to bringing the Pet to campus.

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.

When submitting an appeal, be sure to include the following:

  • The age of the pet on the day you submit the appeal
  • Where the pet is living currently
  • Where and when you obtained your pet
  • How long you have had the pet
  • A thorough explanation of your situation and why you and your pet deserve an exception of the pet policy
  • Interaction with other animals and people, if the animal was abused, and other pertinent pet history
  • Plans for pet if the appeal is not granted or the pet has to be removed from campus

Complaints

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.

Each complaint will be forwarded to the Office of Community Standards for review. 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. Non-compliance with any decision may result in the loss of the privilege to reside in campus Animal Friendly Housing.

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 (ESA) are approved through Accessible Education Services, and are not classified as Animals/Small Pets. Service Animals are encouraged, but not required to be registered Accessible Education Services or with the Pet Life Staff. Emotional Support Animals and Service Animals must adhere to all conduct policies listed with the College Pet Policy. Owners of Emotional Support Animals are required to fill out the online Animal Registration Form. The registration fee may be waived at the owner’s request.

Students must receive an ESA designation from the Accessible Education Services prior to bringing their animal to campus. If students are cited for a violation to the Pet Policy, they must remedy the violation before requesting ESA designation for their animal. Animals living on-campus in violation of the pet policy may not remain on-campus pending review and determination of an ESA request. Accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis, pursuant to the College’s AES policies.

Questions regarding these policies should be directed to Marra Piazza Brass by email at piazzml@eckerd.edu or by phone at 727.864.7724.

Florida Laws

The Eckerd College Pet Policy was developed in accordance with Florida State Laws and Pinellas County Animal Services, available online. These laws and guidelines are important to keeping Animals and Small Pets safe while they are on the Eckerd College campus. The Eckerd College Pet Life Staff would like to inform faculty, staff, visitors, and students that we will report to the appropriate authorities any illegal action that takes place while on campus.

The Eckerd College Pet Policy was developed in accordance with Florida State Laws available at https://www.flsenate.gov/Statutes/ and in accordance with Pinellas County Animal Services, https://www.pinellascounty.org/animalservices/law-stats.htm. These laws and guidelines are important to keeping Animals and Small Pets safe while they are on the Eckerd College campus. The Eckerd College Pet Life Staff would like to inform faculty, staff, students, and visitors that we will report to the appropriate authorities any illegal action that takes place while on campus.

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.