Saint Louis University



Procedure Number: Version Number: 1
Classification: Effective Date: 8/18/2011
Responsible University Official: Vice President Human Resources


Saint Louis University acknowledges that studies have shown having dogs in the workplace increases productivity and creativity, decreases absenteeism, and improves co-worker relationships and teamwork.


Saint Louis University has implemented a policy to allow responsible dog owners to bring their dog (only one dog) to work for the purpose of promoting employee morale, job satisfaction, and creating a pleasant work environment.

 3.0 SCOPE

This policy may be adopted or revoked at any time at the sole discretion of the responsible vice president and dean. All full-time and part-time regular staff and faculty of Saint Louis University with the exception of employees of the Madrid Campus, employees in areas of the medical campus where pets are prohibited, and members of bargaining units (unless specifically provided for in the union agreement) are covered under these guide-lines.


Responsible dog ownership: Prior to bringing your dog on campus, the owner agrees to maintain copies of the dog’s pertinent medical information on premises and agrees to the following minimum requirements.

  • All vaccinations, including bordetellosis, are complete and current.
  • Parasite control is being done on a routine basis and the dog is free of ticks and fleas. 
  • The dog has no recent history (6 months) of infection or ringworm. 

Designated Areas on campus: Dogs will be allowed in the owner’s office or cubicle, provided there is some form of appropriate containment in their work area. The owner is responsible for controlling their dog at all times. Owners must use a leash while walking the dog and when the dog is in common areas, unless the area is designated for recreation for employees and dogs. The Ellen Clark Sculpture Park is such a designated area that permits dogs to be off a leash while inside the park area.

Dogs are prohibited from entering any laboratories, buildings that house comparative medicine facilities, fitness center, lactation rooms, food preparation areas, serving and dining areas, restrooms, medical and patient care facilities, SLU vans, shuttles, mechanical rooms, kitchen areas, the data centers (located in Des Peres Hall, Doisy Research Center, and the Caroline Building), and any such areas as designated by the building manager or Vice President of that division. 


While Saint Louis University supports the positive benefits that a socialized and well behaved dog may provide to the work environment, the University also respects the interests of all their employees. Employees who have allergies and/or fears will not be subjected to situations within their immediate work environment that exacerbates these conditions. Faculty and staff with allergies and/or other conditions that might be adversely affected by exposure to dogs should notify their department head/designee of said conditions. This information will be considered prior to granting approval for bringing a dog to the workplace. In some instances where exposure cannot be prevented, the dog owner may not be allowed to bring their dog to work.

Employees wishing to bring their dog to work will submit a request to the department head, or their designee, and sign an Authorization and Release form which includes a Waiver of Liability (see 6.2 Responsibilities of Dog Owners). The owner will also submit all pertinent medical information regarding the dog’s vaccinations, proof that the dog is on a flea and tick control regimen, and is free of infection or ringworm.

5.1 Guidelines for bringing a dog to work

Dog owners who have been approved to bring their dog to work may do so on the first Wednesday of every month. This policy only permits a dog owner to bring one dog to work at a time. Managers may ask the dog owner to remove a dog at any time that it be-comes aggressive, destructive or distracting to workers.

The following conditions must be met:

  • Owner will only bring their dog if the dog is fully house trained. 
  • Owner is solely responsible for all clean-up inside and outside the building.
  • Owner will not bring their dog to work that is ill or behaving abnormally and will remove the dog from the premises if it becomes ill while on University property.
  • Owner will not bring their dog to work that has bitten or is aggressive or destructive.
  • Owner will not bring their dog if it barks frequently, is excessively vocal. • Owner will not bring their female dog to work during active mating season.
  • Owner must control their dog at all times using a leash while walking the pet and some form of containment in their work area. 

5.2 Guidelines for appropriate clean-up, disinfecting, and disposal of dog waste.

The owner of the dog is solely responsible for all clean-up inside and outside the building. The owner will immediately attend to any accidents and/or other messes the dog may cause using the appropriate cleaning and disinfectants supplied by Custodial Services. Departments are required to have on hand kits for the owner’s use. The kits will be purchased from Custodial Services. The department head may request the dog owner(s) who are bringing their dog to the work place to share in the cost of the kit.

Each kit will contain the approved cleaning, disinfecting and disposal supplies. The owner will dispose of the dog waste in exterior receptacles.

Custodians will not enter an office or cubicle when a dog is present.

5.3 Use of time

Employees who bring their dog to work will utilize their designated lunch and break periods to tend to walking or caring for the needs of their dog.

If an employee has to leave work to remove their dog from the premises if it becomes ill while on University property, or for any other reasons, the employee will need to submit vacation time. If the employee does not have accrued vacation hours, the time it takes to remove the dog from the premises will be unpaid time.


6.1 Responsibility of Dog Owners

The dog owner shall be completely responsible for their dog at all times. The dog owner must sign a waiver, prior to bringing their dog to work, that unconditionally releases,
indemnifies, waives, discharges and agrees to hold harmless Saint Louis University staff, faculty, students, or guests from any loss, damage, liability and expense, including court costs and attorney fees, that may be incurred as a result of injuries, including death to persons or pets, or damage to property, directly or indirectly associated with the owner bringing his/her dog to the work place, whether caused by the negligence of other staff, faculty, students or guests, or otherwise.

6.2 Responsibility of Department Heads

Department heads/designees will respect and be sensitive to all of their employee's needs. Employees who because of health conditions, who are allergic to dog hair and pet dander, or who are fearful of dogs will not be subjected to a work environment that will exacerbate their condition. These issues will be taken into consideration prior to granting authorization.

Department heads/designees shall be responsible for maintaining copies of
documentation for authorization and waivers.

  1. 273.036 Missouri Revised Statutes,
  2. St. Louis City Ordinance 66384,
  3. Nestle Purina Pet in the Work Place – Authorization and Release 
  4. Build A Bear,

The policy will be reviewed by the Executive Staff and approved by the President.

This policy has been approved by:
Lawrence Biondi,
S.J. President
Saint Louis University