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Animals on Campus Procedure

  • Related Documents: Animals on Campus Policy
  • Owner: Community Safety and Security (CSS)
  • Approval Dates:  January 2004, August 2007, May 2013


To identify situations where animals are permitted or prohibited the following procedures will apply.

Service Animals on Campus

Many service animals wear a sign that identifies them as a working animal.  In other cases it may not be immediately evident.  For example, some people with asthma have service animals that will protect them and/or summon help if they have an attack.

In order to distinguish between service animals and pets or wildlife in situations where a community member has a concern, and it is not readily apparent that the animal is a service animal, it is appropriate to ask if the animal is a service animal. If necessary, it is also appropriate to ask the nature of service(s) the animal provides, e.g. mobility assistance, or in exceptional situations, to ask for documentation concerning the services the animal provides. However, questions cannot be asked about an individual’s disability. The Office of the VP, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion will provide guidance on such communications.

Ryerson’s policies on accommodation of students and employees govern the presence of service animals on campus in spaces that are not public, such as faculty and staff offices. Questions related to the use of service animals, or animals used for other approved purposes should be directed to Assistant Director, Risk Management and Prevention.

While community members such as students, faculty or staff, who require the assistance of service animals may have a service animal requirement identified as an individual accommodation, formal accommodation plans are not required.

Should concerns of health and safety arise, (e.g. allergies), staff, faculty or students should speak to their department chair, director or manager. In such cases, arrangements should be considered that will accommodate the needs of all individuals, such as creating distance between individuals, eliminating in-person contact, changing the time individuals receive services, using air purifiers, etc.  The Assistant Director, Risk Management and Prevention can provide advice to chairs, directors and managers.

The service animal’s owner and animal handlers must be in full control of the animal at all times, including use of a leash as applicable to the animal. The care and supervision of a service animal is solely the responsibility of its owner or handler.

Health and Safety Respecting Non-Servivce Animals on Campus

The use of animals on campus, other than those used as service animals for persons with disability, must be approved by the Assistant Director, Risk Management and Prevention, through the risk assessment process.

Situations where Animals are Not Permitted on Campus

Should a member of the community encounter or become aware of the presence of wild life or pets in a campus building, Ryerson Security and Emergency Services should be contacted at, or by calling 416 979-5040.

For concerns regarding the presence of animals on campus not authorized for use in University approved programs, research or creative activity please contact the Assistant Director, Risk Management and Prevention.


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