Pets/Animals in the Workplace

Pets/Animals in the Workplace Rules & Etiquette

What are the pets/animals in the workplace rules & etiquette?

The University of British Columbia recognizes the important role that animals/pets play in the lives of many faculty, staff and students. Bringing an animal/pet to work is a privilege and a responsibility. In order to protect the health and safety of University employees and students, the following rules and etiquette must be applied when an animal/pet is brought into a UBC Vancouver campus building. For UBC buildings located off campus, contact Risk Management Services (604-822-2029) for guidance.
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What are the exceptions to the pets/animals in the workplace rules?

Pursuant to the Guide Animal Act of British Columbia, “a person with a disability accompanied by a guide animal has the same rights, privileges and obligations as a person not accompanied by an animal.”
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Guiding Principles

What are the guiding principles for bringing pets/animals to the workplace?

The University of British Columbia is first and foremost a workplace

  • Bringing an animal/pet to the workplace is a privilege, not a right
  • Therapy dogs are not exempt from this
  • Decisions on allowing personal animals/pets in the workplace will be made in a transparent and collaborative manner
  • Everyone in the area will be consulted with and have an opportunity to share their views freely and in a respectful manner prior to the animal/pet entering the workplace
  • Rules must be reviewed on a regular basis and revised as needed.

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General Rules

What are the general rules for bringing pets/animals to the workplace?

  1. Prior to bringing a pet/animal into a UBC workplace, an individual must complete the approval process. The approval process includes completion of this document, a meeting with their supervisor and consultation with coworkers in their immediate and surrounding work areas.
  2. All animals/pets must:
    • have current vaccinations and ID tags
    • be confined to their owner’s office or workspace
    • not enter shared spaces including: kitchens/lunch rooms, restrooms, meeting rooms, and classrooms
  3. If the presence of an animal/pet causes a significant disturbance or poses a health and safety risk to faculty/staff/students, the owner must take all reasonable action to immediately address the concern. The administrative head of unit will collaborate with the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee (JOHSC)/Local Safety Team (LST) to determine whether the animal/pet can be brought back into the workplace.
  4. Owners of the animal/pet must clean up after their animal/pet both inside the building and outside on campus property.
  5. Animal/pet owners are financially responsible for damage caused by their animal/pet including but not limited to: damage from accidents, shedding, defecation, urination, chewing, scratching, and/or rambunctious behaviours, and/or odour removal. It is the responsibility of the administrative head of unit to enforce this.

Please download and read the Rules and Etiquette for Animals/Pets in the Workplace Agreement (WORD) for more information (a signed agreement must be in place prior to having an animal or pet in the workplace).