Animals / Pets

Effective: Friday, January 4, 2019

Last Revised: Saturday, January 4, 2020

Responsible University Administrator: Vice Chancellor, Business & Finance

Responsible University Office: Business & Finance

Policy Contact: Office of the Vice Chancellor for Business & Finance


This policy applies to University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) faculty, staff, students and visitors.

Policy Statement

UNL faculty, staff, students and visitors are prohibited from bringing animals/pets into UNL-controlled buildings, including residential halls, with the exception of service animals approved by the UNL Office of Equity and Compliance. Animals are permitted on UNL grounds but must be confined or otherwise physically restrained (as specified below).

  • Animals must be attended, under the control of the owner, and restrained at all times.
  • A dog or other animal trailing a leash that is not restrained by an individual, or an animal tied to a fixed object is not considered to be under the control of an individual.
  • Any animal found tied to a fixed object or running at large on university grounds will be impounded.
  • The owner or person in control of a dog or other animal shall promptly remove any fecal matter or solid waste deposited by the animal and provide for the proper disposal of this material.

Failure to Comply

Violation of these regulations may result in confiscation of the pet and/or administrative or disciplinary action to the owner.

Damage to UNL Property

UNL will seek restitution for any animal-related damage to university-controlled property, facilities, or grounds. The repair or replacement cost of damaged property is the sole responsibility of the owner of the animal that caused the damage.


  • Service Animals as approved by UNL Office of Equity and Compliance (See Policy for the Use of Service Animals)
  • Animals used for special events or demonstrations as approved by the institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
    • Requests for such events or demonstrations are required to be submitted to the IACUC using the Demonstration of Special Event form one week prior to the event. The IACUC will consult with appropriate administrators regarding certain requests and approvals/denials as needed. All decisions by IACUC are final.
  • UNLPD or other law enforcement agency dogs
  • At the discretion of the Attending Veterinarian for examinations or consultation at the IACP office
  • UNL employees using out-state farms, ranches, or teaching facilities, may house animals as approved by the facility director
    • All pets must have prior approval from the facility director before arriving at the residence. Use the Privately Owned Animal Registration Form. Email the completed form to
    • Proof of current vaccinations (e.g. rabies, distemper, bordetella) and a health certificate from a licensed veterinarian within 30 days of arrival is required.
    • The facility manager retains the right to refuse approval for any pet, or rescind approval if the pet’s behavior disrupts the community, damages the facilities, or threatens the health or safety of residents or other UNL employees.
    • All dogs and cats must be housebroken or litterbox trained before arriving at the facility.
    • At UNL farms and ranches, the following recommendations should be reviewed:
      • Vaccinations will be kept current as recommended by the UNL Attending Veterinarian.
      • A consistent program of parasite control (internal and external) must be implemented.
      • It is highly recommended that cats and dogs be spayed or neutered.
      • Dogs and cats in residence at UNL will be kept in well maintained and clean housing.

Reason for Policy

To ensure humane treatment of animals and pets, protect personal rights, and to meet sanitation requirements. Animals/Pets can pose a threat to the health and safety of the campus community, as well as to a healthful educational environment (through allergy, excessive noise, waste, animal bites, and disease transmission via fleas, ticks, parasites, viruses, bacteria, etc.). Individuals with disabilities, those with allergies, or those that are immunocompromised are at particular risk. For instance, dogs running freely pose a particular hazard to individuals using service animals. Pets on campus can also be destructive, causing damage to grounds, buildings, and property. This policy was created in conjunction with the Office of Research and Economic Development, Institutional Animal Care Program, Business & Finance, and the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance.


To Report a Violation

Contact the unit Chair/Department Head, Institutional Animal Care Program, or the Office of the UNL Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance for resolution.


Pet: any privately owned animal.

Service Animal: any dog or miniature horse that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.

University Controlled Property: Property that is owned, operated, or maintained by the university. This does not include fraternity or sorority housing and other space owned by UNL that is leased to other entities and not controlled by the university.

Additional Contacts

University Police - Animal Bites and Attacks


Institutional Animal Care Program - Animal Care and Wellbeing, Special Events or Demonstrations


UNL Facilities, Management & Planning - Damage to UNL Facilities or Grounds


IANR - IANR Out-of-State Facilities


Unit Chair/Dept. Head, Institutional Animal Care Program, or Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance(VCBF) - Questions or to Report Repeated Pet Policy Violations


University Housing - Residence Hall Policies and Requirements


UNL Students with Disabilities - Service Animals


Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance - Service Animals


Director of Faculty/Staff Disability Services - Additional Information Regarding Service Animals


University Police - Animal Bites and Attacks



  • This policy was reformatted in 2020. No content edits were made.
  • April 2022 - The Demonstration of Special Event Form was updated.
  • Oct 2023 - The Demonstration of Special Event Form updated to a DocuSign form. An email address was added to direct users where to send Privately Owned Animal Registration forms.