Animals on Campus Policy

Effective Date

June 12, 2017

Last Revision Date

June, 2023 

Responsible Party

Human Resources


All employees, visitors and vendors.


The purpose of the Marymount Animals on Campus Policy is to maintain a safe environment and clean campus.

Policy Statement

Marymount University (“University”)  is committed to providing a safe environment. Animals may pose a real or perceived threat to other members of the University community and may disrupt University activities. Consequently, animals brought into campus buildings present a liability for the University that is not normally associated with university operations.  The University prohibits animals  inside any university-controlled buildings, except as specified in this policy. Domesticated pets are permitted outside on campus grounds when leashed and properly attended at all times.  Marymount University follows Arlington County Code, Chapter 2, which enforces and regulates animals in Arlington County. Arlington County-Code-2-Animals-and-Fowl

1.0 Definitions

1.1 Handler

The owner and person in charge of and responsible for an animal.

1.2 Pet

Any animal kept for ordinary use and companionship. Service and Support Animals are not considered Pets.

1.3 Service Animal

Any dog or in some circumstances a miniature horse that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. The work or tasks performed by a Service Animal must be directly related to the person’s disability. The provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship does not constitute work or tasks for the purpose of this definition.

1.4 Service Animal in Training

A dog that is in training, at least six months of age, and is (i) in harness, provided such person is an experienced trainer of guide dogs or is conducting continuing training of a guide dog; (ii) on a blaze orange leash, provided such person is an experienced trainer of hearing dogs or is conducting continuing training of a hearing dog; (iii) in a harness, backpack, or vest identifying the dog as a trained service dog, provided such person is an experienced trainer of service dogs or is conducting continuing training of a service dog; (iv) wearing a jacket identifying the recognized guide, hearing, or service dog organization, provided such person is an experienced trainer of the organization identified on the jacket; or (v) the person is part of a three-unit service dog team and is conducting continuing training of a service dog.

1.5 Emotional Support Animal

An animal that provides may provide physical assistance, emotional support, calming, stability, and other kinds of support. The presence of the animal must be necessary in order to provide the resident with a disability the use and enjoyment of the dwelling. There must be an identifiable relationship or nexus between the disability and the assistance or support the animal provides. Emotional support animals do not perform work or tasks that qualify them as “Service Animals” under the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

2.0  General

  1.  Animals are not permitted in University controlled and managed buildings, except for the animals listed in this Policy and defined above.
  2. Animals brought onto campus outdoor grounds of the University (other than those specified above) must be on a leash, in a vehicle, contained or kenneled or otherwise kept under physical control and possession of the handler at all times. If an animal demonstrates threatening or aggressive behavior to members of the University community and guests (e.g., growling, scratching, biting), its handler may be directed to remove the animal from University property. Animal handlers are responsible for cleaning up after their animals while on campus grounds. Additionally, handlers are expected to be aware of and must comply with Arlington County laws and regulations regarding licensing, vaccination, the storage, transport and care of animals, and any other requirements for animals. Animals prohibited by Arlington County, Virginia and/or federal law is not permitted on campus.
  3. The University permits the following animals in University controlled and managed buildings: 
    1. Service animals;
    2. Emotional Support Animals in an individual’s residence hall room, provided that the animal has been approved as a disability-related housing accommodation by Student Access Services; and
    3. Service Animals in Training
  4. Although the above exempt animals are permitted in University controlled and buildings within the limitations described, these animals must be housebroken and remain under the control of their handlers at all times. The care or supervision of an exempt animal is solely the responsibility of its handler. The University reserves the right to exclude an exempt animal whose behavior is disruptive or poses a threat to the health or safety of others.
  5. Anyone who brings an animal to the University will be held liable for any damages or injuries attributable to the behavior of the animal while on campus. 
  6. Animals found out of compliance with this policy shall be removed from the University and also are subject to impounding and may be taken, at the owner’s expense, by an Animal Control Officer of Arlington County to a County facility. 
  7. Faculty, staff, or students found in violation of this policy may be subject to disciplinary actions in accordance with applicable University disciplinary policies.