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Animals on Campus Policy

  • Related Documents: Animals on Campus Procedure
  • Owner:  Community Safety and Security (CSS)
  • Approver:  Vice-President, Administration and Operations 
  • Approval Dates:  January 2004, August 2007, May 2013


Toronto Metropolitan University (the "University") recognizes the need to ensure the health and safety of the community, while enabling the use of animals on campus that are essential for service of persons with disabilities or for University approved programs using animals to deliver an academic or research program service.


Service animals can be essential to the independence of persons with disabilities and to their ability to have equal access to university goods and services.

Service animals are also an important support for community member wellness.

The University community members will respect the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities who use service animals.

The right to use a service animal, an animal approved for use in a University program or an animal authorized by University policy to support research, must be balanced against laws governing health and safety endangerment or other legal restrictions addressing their presence in certain circumstances.


Campus: University owned or operated places, including but not limited to offices, student residences, labs, classrooms, study spaces, recreational facilities and outdoor areas.

Pets: Animals owned by students, staff, faculty, guests, visitors or members of the public which are permitted under Municipal by-laws governing restrictions, owner responsibilities and care of animals.

Service Animal: A service animal is defined as any animal trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to:

·         Guide – provides guide service for persons who are blind or have visual disabilities.

·         Hearing or signal – alerts a person with hearing loss or deafness when a sound occurs, such as an alarm or a knock at the door.

·         Mobility assistance – May carry, fetch, open doors, ring doorbells, activate elevator buttons, pull a wheelchair, steady a person while walking, help someone get up after a fall, etc.

·         Alert – warns a person in situations such as, an impending seizure or asthma attack and/or going for help or standing guard over the person.

·         Stress and anxiety assistance - animals can assist in decreasing and managing stress levels, e.g. for a person who experiences panic attacks.

Application and Scope

This policy applies to students, faculty, staff or visitors to the University including persons with a disability who are supported by a service animal, handlers of service animals that support persons with disabilities, and those authorized for use in research or in approved programs on campus.

Animals which are not acting as service animals and are intended for use in teaching, research or creative activities, are also addressed through other university policies, such as the  (PDF file) Ethics Review of Research Involving Animals Policy.


1.    Pets are not permitted within campus buildings.

2.    Service animals are permitted and must be allowed to accompany persons with disabilities and/or their handler on campus, unless prohibited by law or the presence of the service animal endangers health and safety of individuals on campus.

3.    If a service animal is not permitted because of legal prohibition or due to health and safety requirements, the university will provide alternate support to permit access to goods and services, or to provide reasonable accommodation for an employee or student. 

4.    Animals approved for use in University teaching, research and creative activities are permitted on campus for such purposes. Existing University policies such as the Ethics Review of Research Involving Animals Policy as well as other regulations, such as the Canadian Council on Animal Care guidelines, govern the presence of animals on campus for academic purposes.


This policy falls under the jurisdiction of the office of Vice President, Administration and Finance.  The application and interpretation of the policy is the responsibility of the Director, Integrated Risk Management (IRM).