Radford’s New Dog Policy

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Ola Elshaar | oelshaar@radford.edu

On Nov. 17, Radford University’s public relation sent an email to the members of the Radford University community. In the email the university officials stated a new policy that establishes the requirements for animals, including service animals, support animals, and pets, to be brought on campus property.

The policy concerns all animals that are owned or controlled by any person while on university property. This policy was developed based on campus response about the need to address animals on campus and doesn’t allow any animal that is not trained or employed as a service or support animal for the handler.

“I actually haven’t read the new policy yet,” said Ayana Parry, a media studies freshman at Radford University. “But I’ve heard about it, and I think it does make sense that, we [are] only allowed to bring service/support animals on campus.”

“I didn’t actually bring my dog with me,” said Aaron Pearce, a political science junior at Radford University. “It’s not a service dog, nor any kind of support. It’s not like the new policy bothers me, but I wish I could have him with me, other than that the policy makes a lot of sense.”

“I know a lot of people who own dogs as an emotional support,” said Corban James, a media studies sophomore at Radford University. “I believe that dogs or any pet that you own, is part of your family, it’s too bad that they can’t be around us. Sometimes you’re just feeling so stressful during classes, exams, and projects and you just need your pet around you.”

I think Radford University’s new policy for bringing animals on campus makes sense to me. I understand that a fair amount of people own pets for emotional support or other reasons like disabilities, diabetes, seizure disorder, mental illnesses, and more. Pets are usually not allowed on campuses for providing a professional working atmosphere, or in other words, to avoid the distraction that pets would cause.

I think that many students would appreciate having pets on campus, as long as they do not enter buildings especially since the campus is pet-friendly regarding the many grassy areas that have ample lands for the pets to have fun. However, the reasons for not allowing pets on campus are pretty convincing, and they are for the students own good.

For this policy, “any indoors (buildings, offices, facilities, etc.) owned, leased, or controlled by the university and any outdoor area owned by the university with limitations on use or access (e.g., practice fields, stadiums, tennis courts, etc.). Public areas (e.g., streets, lawns, sidewalks, parking lots, etc.) with no limitations on access are not controlled spaces.”

For service animals, the policy applies to any dog, or on rare occasion, a miniature horse, specifically trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability and to accommodate their functional needs. Furthermore, for the support animal, an animal, sometimes referred to as an emotional support or therapy animal, which provides comfort or support to a person with a disability.

Picture credit: (www.pinterest.com): https://www.pinterest.com/mddurhamqlc/radford-university/
Easton, a therapy dog with TheraPets of the Roanoke Valley, Inc., receives some affection from freshmen Ashlie Freeman and Riley Lee during the Stress Buster at McConnell Library.