UA Residence Life Animal Policy

The information on this website is intended to apply for animals in residential communities across all UA campuses. For specific information about UAA animal policies, please see UAA Expectations for Animal Handlers webpage

Section I. Introduction and Background

While some Residence Life facilities within the University system allow pets, the University of Alaska (UA) Departments of Residence Life recognize the importance of Service and Assistance Animals to the well-being of our residents. UA is committed to allowing Service and Assistance Animals in our community as necessary to provide qualified individuals an equal opportunity to use and enjoy the experience of living on-campus. This policy explains the specific requirements and guidelines applying to all animals present in Residence Life facilities. UA reserves the right to amend this policy at any time as circumstances require. 

For the Animals on Campus policy, please see:

Section II - Definitions

Service Animal

A dog (and in certain circumstances, a miniature horse) that has been individually trained to perform a task for the benefit of an individual with a disability.  As provided in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), individuals with disabilities may bring their Service Animals with them anywhere the individual is normally allowed to go.

Assistance Animal

An animal that works, provides assistance, or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability, and has been approved to be present in on-campus housing by Disability Services (student residents) or the ADA Accessibility Team (employee and guest residents) as a reasonable accommodation for an individual with a documented disability under applicable procedure.  Assistance Animals are sometimes also referred to as an emotional support animal, therapy animal, or comfort animal.


An animal kept for ordinary use, pleasure, and/or companionship.


An individual who is responsible for or possesses any animal in Residence Life facilities. 

Disability Services

Disability Services (DS) on each campus collaborates with students, faculty, and staff to ensure that students with disabilities have equal access to all University programs and activities.

ADA Accessibility Team

The ADA Accessibility Team serves within UA Human Resources and is responsible for ensuring employees and visitors at all UA system locations and events have equal access to all University programs and activities.

Section III - General Requirements and Limitations


In accordance with this policy, Service Animals are allowed in all Residence Life facilities and may accompany their Handler everywhere the Handler is allowed to go. Approved assistance animals are allowed within the Handlers residence and common areas (e.g., laundry room, lounge) only. Pets are only allowed in specific Residence Life facilities.  Contact your Residence Life staff to determine whether a Pet is allowed in the facility in which you reside and any limitations on Pets (e.g., types of animals, numbers of Pets; breed restrictions).

Registration and Deposits

All animals must be registered according to local and municipal laws. 

Additional UA registration and approval requirements:

Service Animals
  • Service Animals do not have to be registered with DS / the Accessibility Team or Residence Life, though vaccination requirements must be met prior to the Service Animal entering Residence Life facilities, as described below. Handlers may choose to register their Service Animal for emergency contact purposes. 
  • No deposit is required for Service Animals.
Assistance Animals

Prior to entering Residence Life facilities, Assistance Animals must be:

  1. approved by DS / the Accessibility Team and 
  2. registered with Residence Life

No deposit is required for Assistance Animals.


Prior to entering Residence Life facilities, Pets must be registered with Residence Life, and deposits may be required, depending on the facility and the type of Pet. (Note: at this time, pets other than fish in a 10-gallon or smaller tank are not allowed for students residing in the UAA residential community. See the UAA Community Living Standards under Facilities and Safety/Pets for more information.)


  • All animals must have current vaccinations, as required by state and local law, and wear a current rabies vaccination tag, as applicable. 
  • Handlers must provide proof of current vaccinations before the animal moves into a Residence Life facility. 
  • Residence Life may ask for a current vaccination record at any time during an animal’s residency.


All Pet cats and dogs must be spayed/neutered.

Section IV - Expectations

General Expectations

  • Animals may not engage in behavior that endangers the health or safety of the Handler or any other individual.
  • All animals must be housebroken (regarding dogs, housebroken refers to being trained to urinate and defecate outside in an appropriate location - pee pads are not permitted; for cats, housebroken refers to being trained to urinate and defecate in a litter box; for small caged animals and fish, housebroken refers to urinating and defecating in their cage/aquarium).  
  • The Handler must maintain control of and supervise the animal at all times and will not allow any other individual to take control of, supervise, or care for the animal except as in “E” below.  
  • Handlers are responsible for ensuring their animals do not disrupt other residents or the community, this includes disruptive barking, whining, meowing, squeaking, squawking, talking, etc.  
  • Handlers may leave their animals unattended in their assigned residential unit only for a reasonable period of time, as determined by Residence Life staff based on the totality of the circumstances.  Any animal left unattended in the Handler’s residential unit must be contained, as appropriate for the type of animal, when the Handler is not present during the day while attending classes or other activities.  Handlers may not leave their animals (excluding fish) in residential facilities while the Handler is away overnight without Residence Life staff written approval. For extended absences, the animal must travel with the Handler or be boarded off campus when the Handler is away.  Any animal found in the Handler’s assigned residence in violation of these expectations or without its Handler and outside the Handler’s assigned residence is subject to capture, confinement, and immediate removal from Residence Life facilities.
  • Handlers must follow all other University and Residence Life policies, such as ensuring the animal does not interfere with other individuals, Residence Life staff and other University employees, or the Residence Life facility.
  • Residents or guests found with an unauthorized animal in Residence Life facilities will be required to immediately remove the animal. Residents who possess or allow an unauthorized animal in a Residence Life facility are responsible for any damage or injury caused by the unauthorized animal, including any damage or injury caused by an animal belonging to a guest of the resident. 
  • Handlers are required to immediately report any damage or injury caused by their animal, whether in Residence Life facilities, on University property, or elsewhere. 
  • Handlers must notify Residence Life as soon as an animal no longer resides in Residence Life.  Handlers of Assistance or Service Animals must notify Residence Life if the disability-related need for the animal no longer exists and they still possess the animal in Residence Life.
  • To replace an Assistance or Service Animal, the Handler must notify the Department of Residence Life. Residence Life may require a follow-up meeting to discuss breed-specific expectations if the Handler is getting a different breed of animal.  

Animal Care, Cleanliness, and Supervision

Handlers are responsible for the care, cleanliness, and supervision of their animals. This includes the cleanliness of the Residence Life facility, including the individual unit, interior spaces in which the animal accompanies the Handler, and the exterior walkways, lawn areas, etc.  Handlers must immediately pick up waste left by their animals on University property and dispose of it in outdoor garbage cans.  Handlers must keep their animal and living space clean and free from offensive odors.  Contact your campus Residence Life office for specific grooming and bathing expectations. 

The Handler must comply with Alaska Statute 03.55.100 regarding the minimum care for animals, including:

  • Food and water sufficient to maintain each animal in good health;
  • An environment compatible with protecting and maintaining the good health and safety of the animal; and
  • Reasonable medical care at times and to the extent available and necessary to maintain the animal in good health.

Handlers must follow reasonable directions for ensuring the animal does not interfere with other residents’ peaceful living, or disturb, distract, offend, or intimidate other individuals (e.g. residents who might have allergies or fear of the animal).  

Residence Life staff are not responsible for the care, cleanliness, or supervision of any animal, including but not limited to providing care for the animal, cleaning up after the animal, or removing the animal during emergency evacuation for events such as alarm drills or a fire.  Emergency personnel will determine whether to remove the animal and may not be held responsible for the care, injury to, death of, or loss of the animal.

Section V - Inspections

As part of the University’s standard or routine inspections, Residence Life staff will inspect the residence to ensure that residents are in compliance and following applicable policies. Inspections are not always pre-scheduled and may occur at any time. Residents must comply with all inspections.  

Section VI - Conflicting Health Conditions

Residents who have a health-related concern about exposure to an animal (e.g., respiratory diseases, asthma, allergies) are encouraged to contact Disability Services (students) or the ADA Accessibility Team (employees and guests) to request a reasonable accommodation.

Section VII - Violations of Policy / Removal of Animal / Disruptive Animals

All Handlers must fully comply with the terms of the Residence Life Animal Policy, the general Residence Life policies, and University policies, and must cooperate with University personnel in developing and following procedures for care of the animal (e.g., cleaning the animal, feeding/watering the animal, designating an outdoor relief area, disposing of animal waste).  

Failure to comply with the terms of the Residence Life Animal Policy, other Residence Life policies, or University policies may result in fee assessment for damages or expenses, disciplinary action, the removal or exclusion of the animal, termination of the housing agreement (eviction), and any other remedies available under policy and law.  

The Handler is financially responsible for any damage to property beyond reasonable wear and tear, including animal odors and injury to individuals caused by the animal.  If fumigation is required due to fleas, ticks, or other pests related to an animal, affected areas will be treated using approved fumigation methods by a University-approved pest control service, and the Handler will be responsible for the expense of any pest treatment above and beyond standard pest management in residential facilities.  Fees or charges will be assessed against the Handler’s University account or billed to the Handler directly.

Animals may be removed or excluded under the following circumstances:  

  • The animal poses a direct threat to health or safety;
  • The animal is not housebroken;
  • The Handler does not maintain control of the animal, including but not limited to during any interaction with other animals;
  • The presence of an animal fundamentally alters a University program;
  • The animal causes harm or damage; or

Any provision of this policy or other Residence Life or University policies is violated.

Removals and exclusions are considered on a case-by-case basis. In situations where the animal being removed is an accommodation related to a disability, the Handler may contact the campus DS Office/ADA Accessibility Team to discuss options.  

An animal may be impounded and removed from the University property by University personnel, the University Police Department, the local animal control authority, or other authorities. If removal is necessary, the individuals involved in removing the animal may not be held responsible for the care, injury to, death of, or loss of the animal.

If an animal is removed for any reason and the Handler is a resident, the Handler is expected to fulfill the Handler’s Residence Life obligations/agreement for the remainder of the Residence Life contract.

For more information about UAA Residence Life Expectation for Animal Handlers, click the button below

  UAA Animal Handler Expectations