Animals play a big role in the personal and professional lives of Wilson students. In recognition of this, Wilson has established the following generous pet policy. This policy is an agreement between the college and the students that places heavy responsibility on the pet owner to humanely care for their pet while causing no disturbance or damage to the community or facility. Any resident, who chooses to become, or is a pet owner, must abide by the following regulations.
- The following animals are the only animals allowed in the residence halls: cats, rabbits, hamsters, mice, rats, gerbils, chinchillas, guinea pigs, fish, hermit crabs, sea monkeys, and small non-poisonous reptiles and amphibians.
- Cat and rabbits are categorized as large pets and must be properly registered with Residential Life before residing on campus. Cats must be at least six months old and have lived within the student’s household for at least three months prior to living on-campus.
- Hamster, mice, rats, gerbils, chinchillas, guinea pigs, fish, hermit crabs, sea monkeys, and small non-poisonous reptiles and amphibians are categorized as small pets and must be properly registered with Residential Life before residing on campus.
- The registration fee for large pets is $75.00 for the academic year. The registration fee for small pets is $50.00 for the academic year. The registration fee for pets over the summer is half the cost as the academic year. Residents with fish will only be charged $50.00 whether they have one fish or multiple fish. Pet registration fees are not applicable to emotional support animals and/or ADA service animals. Pet registration fees are not refundable once the pet has come to campus.
- On-campus residents are permitted ONE large pet or TWO small pets. (Multiple fish, hermit crabs, or sea monkeys count as ONE small pet.)
- Small pets must be able to live humanely in a cage no larger than 2’x2’x2’ and no larger than a 10-gallon tank (aquarium or terrarium). Cage size is by total volume not individual dimension measurement and does include any tunnels/add-on accessories. Students are only permitted one tank and one cage at any time.
- Large pets must be able to live humanely in a containment no more than four feet on any side. The large animal should be able to comfortably roam in their containment with access to food, water, and litterbox.
- Pets that are not allowed include dogs, birds, arachnids, domesticated farm animals, any animal that is illegal as a domestic pet in the state of Pennsylvania, and any animal not explicitly listed as an allowed animal above. Bringing in an animal that is not allowed will result in automatic loss of pet privileges, substantial fines, and possible Honor Council referral. This includes visitor’s pets, VEC animals, etc.
- All pets must be registered and approved prior to arrival to campus.
- Registration is required prior to the semester that a student intends to bring their pet. Any late registration will result in a delay of the pet arrival until the following semester. Proof of approval is required at check-in.
- For large pets: All copies of certifications of all applicable vaccinations, proof of flea prevention, a recent photograph, and physical description of the pet as provided by the established veterinarian are required to be submitted before a room key is issued.
- Failure to follow these policies before arrival and check-in on campus will result in immediate loss of pet privileges and a fine.
- You will find the registration link on the pet page on the my.wilson portal.
In order to maintain Wilson College’s required compliance, the Federal EPA’S Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) concerning Biomedical Waste, the following steps must be taken if an “animal” housed in a residence hall room is found deceased:
- The deceased animal must be packaged in a plastic bag and placed in the RED Biomedical waste container noted with a “marker” PATHOLOGICAL WASTE located in your residence hall.
- Upon depositing the deceased animal in the Biological Waste Container, the student must email the Director of Residence Life or an RA immediately to notify them of the disposal and location.
- Residence Life will contact the Environmental Health and Safety group for proper disposal as required under RCRA within 24 hours of notification.
- It must be noted that no deceased residence hall room animal weighing more than 35 pounds can be placed in the RED Biomedical Waste Container. If such animal weighs more than 35 pounds, the Environmental Health and Safety Group should be notified to provide instructions for proper disposal. In this case, the student could be charged a disposal fee.
Pet Sitting Policy
Any resident, who chooses to become, or is a pet sitter, must abide by the following regulations:
- All pet policy rules remain in effect during the duration of the pet sitting process. Both the animal owner and animal sitter will be held responsible for pet policy violation which occur during the agreed sitting time.
- As part of the pet registration process, all pet owners will be required to complete an animal information portion. This animal information will be provided to the RA on the student’s floor/hall.
- Students will complete an animal release form on Roompact to release their animal in one of the following ways:
- Release to roommate – animal will be released to the owner’s roommate.
- Release to building resident – animal will be released to a sitter who lives within the building the animal owner lives in. The sitter will pick-up the animal and take the animal to their assigned living space. Both the sitter and sitter’s roommate must agree to have the animal in their assigned living space.
- The animal release form must be submitted no later than 24 hours prior to the animal being picked up. These forms are submitted to either the RA or the area pet proctor.
For more information on the monitoring of pets within the residence halls via pet proctors and resident assistants visit the pet page on the my.wilson portal.
- The pet owner assumes all responsibility for pet actions regardless of circumstances.
- In the event that the animal needs to be transported out of the room/hall, it must be transported in a closed container/carrier. Animals are not permitted in any common space other than for transport in and out of the building. If being carried through a common space, the animal must be in a visible, closed, solid-bottom carrier at all times (i.e. no transport on one’s person, in hamster balls, etc.). Common spaces also include public spaces throughout campus (administrative and classroom buildings and green space).
- All pets must be crated, caged, or in a terrarium/aquarium when left unattended in room.
- Pet owners must take reasonable precautions to prevent their animal from escaping their habitat or supervised care. Pet owners must notify their Pet Proctor & RA within immediately of realizing a pet has escaped their habitat. Pet owners are responsible for any action the College must take to locate/capture a missing animal (whether or not the Student approved of the action) as well as any damage their animal causes during their escape.
- When cleaning the cages/aquariums/habitats of pets, care must be taken to ensure that no bedding, excrement, litter, gravel, sand or cedar chips are dumped down any drains. All solid debris must go in the trashcan. Once solid debris is removed, the container can be washed in the slop/mop sink - never in the kitchen or bathroom sinks or tubs.
- All fabrics or materials laundered in the college laundry machines must also be free of animal debris. Repeated offenses of this will result in a fine and possible loss of pet privileges.
- Pet owners are responsible for any and all damage caused to college facilities by their pets.
- No pet may exhibit any aggressive behavior towards humans or other pets. This is determined on a case by case basis by Residence Life. Residence Life may refer the case to Honor Council for conduct action.
- Any violations of the pet policy will result in an automatic fine. The pet owner will also receive a written warning for each violation. Further details are explained in the warning system.
- If at any time a pet owner can no longer care for their pet, they must find a humane home for it. If it is determined a student has released an animal in the halls or on campus grounds, they will face a substantial fine and Honor Council referral.
- Pet owners are expected to take reasonable precautions to prevent their animals from breeding while residing on campus. Offspring of animals still fall within our total pet restrictions - if offspring would put the owner over the policy limit of animals allowed, they must notify their RA & Pet Proctor immediately and make arrangements to move the animal family off-campus until the offspring can be placed in humane homes. Failure to do so will result in loss of pet privileges.
- If a student in a pet-free area desires to have a pet, they must first arrange and complete a room change to a community that permits animals prior to bringing a pet into their room.
Regulations for pet visitation on campus:
- In accordance with state health regulations, pets are strictly prohibited from all dining facilities.
- Students are only permitted to bring their registered pets and emotional support animals into the residence halls. Both registered pets and emotional support animals are not permitted in another campus buildings.
- All pets must be on leashes while on the Wilson campus. Guests are requested to clean up and appropriately dispose of their pet’s waste.
- Failure to comply with these regulations will result in a warning for the first violation and a $25.00 fine per violation thereafter. See the Pet Policy tab for more information.
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