Carnegie Mellon University

The Word

Student Handbook

Pets & Other Animals

Pets are permitted outside on campus grounds when leashed and properly attended. No animal may be left tied to trees or other objects on campus. In all cases the owner of the animal is responsible for the animal’s behavior and any damage caused by the animal.  

Except as noted below, students and their guests are not permitted to bring dogs, cats or other pets inside any university buildings, including residence facilities, fraternities and sororities, classrooms, and other academic or administrative facilities.

Service animals are permitted inside university facilities but may be prohibited from accessing certain environments where the presence of an animal presents a health or safety risk (e.g. kitchens, laboratories, sterile facilities, etc.).  Service animals are generally defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.  Except in cases where it is readily apparent that an animal is a service animal, requests for accommodations regarding a service animal should be submitted to the Office of Disability Resources.

Emotional support animals may be permitted within a student’s personal living space in a university housing facility, with prior written approval from the Office of Disability Resources. An emotional support animal is an animal that is necessary to afford a person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling when there is an identifiable relationship or nexus between the person’s disability and the assistance the animal provides. Requests for accommodations regarding emotional support animals should be submitted to the Office of Disability Resources.

Fish in an aquarium no larger than twenty (20) gallons are permitted in university housing facilities. All animals maintained in university housing facilities, including any service animal or emotional support animal, must follow all applicable Housing Policies regarding animals.

Students or student organizations that would like to host an on-campus activity or event that involves animals (such as a petting zoo) must receive prior permission. Such requests are encouraged and should be submitted via this form to the Director of Student Leadership, Involvement, and Civic Engagement for review and approval.

Students are expected to properly respect, attend to, care for and treat any pets or animals that they maintain or interact with in any capacity.

Community members should contact University Police if a problem arises with any animal. Any unattended animals will be picked up and impounded by University Police or Animal Control officers. Guidelines for how impounded animals are handled in the City of Pittsburgh, which can include adoption or euthanasia.

Back to Community Policies Index