Pet Policy

Last Revised: 
January 30, 2018

Policy Summary

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln prohibits pets from UNL-controlled buildings, except for those animals that are specifically exempted by this policy. In addition, while on UNL-controlled property, animals must be attended and restrained at all times.

Policy Definitions

These definitions apply to these terms as they are used in this policy.

  • Pet – Any privately owned animal (vertebrate or invertebrate).
  • Service Animal - A Service Animal is “any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.”  See UNL Policy for the Use of Service Animal.
  • University-controlled Property - Property that is owned, operated, or maintained by the university. This does not include fraternity housing, sorority housing, and other space owned by UNL that is leased to other entities and not controlled by the university.

Policy Overview

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 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.

UNL prohibits pets inside UNL-controlled buildings, except for those animals that are exempted from this policy.

Any person who walks a pet on UNL grounds shall be responsible for the behavior and actions of the pet, health and safety of individuals in proximity of the animal, and the health and cleanliness of the campus environment. To this end, the prompt collection and disposal of animal waste is required and all pets must be attended and leashed at all times.

Exempted Pets and Other Animals

The following animals are permitted on UNL-controlled property:

Waiver Process

In rare instances, animals in the classroom, lab, or on campus may provide a compelling benefit to the university’s educational or research mission for students, faculty, and others. In those cases, Departments can request a waiver from the Pet Policy through written documentation detailing the experience, anticipated benefit, date of the event, and specific room or campus location. Waiver requests must be copied to the cognizant Dean or Director and received by the Vice Chancellor of Business and Finance at least 10 working days prior to the experience. Written authorization from the Vice Chancellor of Business and Finance is required prior to occurrence. The Department/College assumes all responsibility for the event.

Pets in Residence Halls

University Housing has adopted a pet policy for its residential student facilities.

IANR Out-State Offices

IANR may develop alternative pet policies for its out-state properties located outside the city limits of Lincoln, Nebraska.

Failure to Comply

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

Unattended or Unrestrained Animals

When an animal is not restrained or  not attended, a reasonable attempt will be made to locate the animal's owner. If attempts to find the animal's owner are unsuccessful, University Police will contact the City of Lincoln Animal Control which will remove the animal from UNL property.  An animal is restrained or attended when it is in the immediate vicinity of an owner, and either on a leash of six feet or shorter, in a cage, or, in the case of a certified Service Animal, voice-controlled by a person competent to govern the behavior of the pet.  To be considered attended a pet may not be left fastened to a stationary object.

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.

To Report a Violation

To report a violation of this policy, contact the unit Chair/Department Head or the Office of the UNL Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance for resolution.

Contacts and Enforcement

SubjectDepartmentPhone #
Emergencies and Other Immediate Assistance University Police (402) 472-2222
Damage to UNL Facilities or Grounds UNL Facilities, Management & Planning (402) 472-1550
Service Animals

UNL Students with Disabilities

Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance

(402) 472-3787

(402) 472-3417

Animal Bites and Attacks University Police (402) 472-2222
Nuisance Complaints Regarding Unrestrained Animal on UNL Grounds University Police (402) 472-2222
Residence Halls Policies and requirements University Housing (402) 472-3561
IANR Out-State Facilities IANR (402) 472-2871
Questions or to Report Repeated Pet Policy Violations Unit Chair/Dept Head or Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance (402) 472-4455 (VCBF)