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 Safety & Risk 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 Dog and Service Dog Act of British Columbia, “A guide dog team, service dog team or dog-in-training team may, in the same manner as would an individual who is not a member of any of those teams, enter and use any place, accommodation, building or conveyance to which the public is invited or has access” and therefore shall be allowed access to all spaces in the workplace. Persons with disabilities who rely on a guide dog or service dog have a right to access and use all public services and places.  Human rights laws protects people with disabilities who rely on guide and service dogs even if the dog is not certified under the Guide Dog and Service Dog Act
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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
  • 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 an agreement process. The agreement 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.

A signed agreement must be in place prior to having an animal or pet in the workplace. For more information, please download the agreement below:

Download Rules and Etiquette for Animals/Pets in the Workplace Agreement [WORD document]