Troy University’s Office of Student Services plans to implement a new pet policy immediately that would ban all pets from core campus areas.
These core campus areas include the university’s quads, academic buildings, intramural fields and residence halls. The policy prohibits pets where faculty, staff and students travel heavily.
Herbert Reeves, dean of student services, said that the policy is being set forth to put students and staff at ease.
“We have not had an attack [by any pet], but we have had people voice their opinions about feeling uncomfortable around pets on campus,” Reeves said.
Reeves said that students and staff would call in to complain that they felt under attack when dogs that were being walked on campus grounds would growl at them.
“This, ironically, comes into effect around the same time that two ladies in Opp were attacked by their own dogs,” Reeves said.
Tuesday, it was reported that two women were severely injured by a family member’s dogs. The two women suffered puncture wounds to the neck, arms and ankles.
As a result, the dogs were put down.
Though Reeves mentioned dogs specifically, the policy stands for all animals.
The policy reads that no pets of any kind shall be allowed on the core of the campus or in any building on the campus. The exception to this policy shall be service dogs that are required to assist a person while on campus.
Reeves said that students, faculty and community members are only allowed to walk their pets on the outskirts of the campus, which include McKinley Drive, Pell Avenue and the Arboretum.
“We are going to do our best to give people the opportunity to be with their pets, but they have to adhere to the policy,” Reeves said.
Those enforcing the new policy, the office of student services and the squad of security guards, will offer an education period.
Reeves said that he expects a 3-4 year education period before he expects total compliance. During this period, those who violate the policy will be educated on the new policy.
After this period, a person violating the policy will be reprimanded by the security official.
The policy states that non-Troy University persons may be subject to removal and banning from the campus, for continued violations, but those affiliated with the university will be subject to disciplinary action.
No set disciplinary actions or fines have been created, as of yet.
Austin Coots, a junior information systems major from Hartselle, said that he does not agree with this new policy.
“What is the harm in having your dog out on the quad on a beautiful day if it’s on a leash?” Coots said. “I have never felt threatened on campus by a dog, and I have never seen a dog be aggressive towards someone in my three years here at Troy.”
Coots suggested that if pet feces were a problem, he would suggest that the university offer doggie bag stations around campus.
As this is a new policy that Reeves said has had many revisions, he encourages those with concerns to voice those concerns to the office of student services.
Reeves said that he is positive that there will be people who have concerns, and he is sure that the policy will have to be adjusted throughout its education period.
“If a person had a concern with the policy, for certain, we will listen, but it depends on what their concerns are,” Reeves said.
Reeves also said that resident hall policies have not changed. Residents are allowed to have a single, beta-sized fish.
The office of student services plans to send out an ‘all users’ email before and after spring break to be sure that everyone is aware of the change in the pet policy.