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Policy on pets in student accommodation

St Andrews University has a strict no pets policy.   The only exception to this rule is if the animal is an Assistance Dog and meets the criteria as mentioned below.

Definition of Assistance Dog

For the purpose of this policy, an Assistance Dog is one which has been specifically trained to assist disabled people and which has been qualified by one of the organisations registered as a member of Assistance Dogs (UK) or an equivalent organisation in another country.

 Assistance dogs trained by members of Assistance Dogs (UK) or by an equivalent organisation in another country have formal identification and are permitted to accompany their owners at all times and in all places within the United Kingdom (unless there is a genuine health and safety risk).

 On the grounds of Health and Safety responsibilities to its staff, students and visitors, the University reserves the right to refuse access for a dog that:

  1. Is not qualified by one of the five membership organisations of Assistance Dogs (UK).

  2.  Dogs from other nations, which do not meet the full membership criteria of the established international assistance dog organisations – Assistance Dogs International, Assistance Dogs Europe, International Guide Dog Federation – or other such international bodies as may from time to time be recognised.

Assistance dogs are not pets

Assistance dogs:

  • are highly trained

  • will not wander freely around the premises

  • will sit or lie quietly on the floor next to its owner

  • are trained to go to the toilet on command and so are unlikely to foul in a public place

  • are instantly recognisable by the harness or identifying coat they wear

Types of Assistance Dogs:

 Guide Dogs assist people who are blind or are visually impaired.

Hearing Dogs assist people who are deaf or are hearing impaired.

 Support Dogs/Dogs for the Disabled: A Support Dog can be trained to do many other tasks, which their owner may find difficult or impossible; for example:

  • Opening and closing doors

  • Calling an ambulance

  • Picking up objects

  • Assisting with dressing and undressing.

  • Accompanying their owner whilst shopping etc.

  • Acting as a physical support

  • Raising the alarm

  • Operating control buttons

  • Switching lights on and off

  • Carrying items

  • Loading and unloading the washing machine

  • Fetching the telephone and other items 

Support Dogs also train dogs for people with disabilities and Seizure Alert dogs for people with epilepsy. Seizure Alert Dogs are trained to behave differently when they detect a potential seizure, which may appear to be misbehaving.

Members of Assistance Dogs (UK)

The following are registered members of Assistance Dogs (UK):

  • Guide Dogs for the Blind Association (GDBA)

  • Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

  • Support Dogs

  • Dogs for the Disabled

  • Canine Partners

Responsibility of Dog Owners

  1. The Dog should be kept on its lead at all times while on University property.

  2. No fouling of University grounds or residences.  If the dog does foul the mess must be cleaned up immediately.

  3. The dog should be exercised  off University property

  4. The Dog should not cause a nuisance to neighbours by barking unnecessarily whilst in Accommodation.

  5. Your Dog should be in good health and regularly groomed. You should register it with a vet to ensure it has regular health checks.

  6. Any damage caused by the dog will be charged to its owner.

For further information use the link below for frequently asked questions

Definition of service dogs in America

Before bringing an Assistance dog into the UK you must ensure that the organisation you are registered with is accredited to ADUK which is a registered charity and welcomes applications for full membership from other charities that have been accredited by Assistance Dogs International or the International Guide Dogs Federation.

Please note the types of accommodation you will be offered may be limited due to the suitability of University accommodation for dogs.