Residence Life Policies

PET POLICY

In honor of the substantial role animals play in Wilson students’ personal and professional lives, 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 small caged and aquarium animals are the only animals allowed in the residence halls: hamsters, mice, rats, gerbils, chinchillas, guinea pigs, fish, hermit crabs, sea monkeys, and small non-poisonous reptiles and amphibians.
  • Permitted animals must be able to live humanely in a cage no larger than 2'x2'x2' and no larger than 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. Maximum 2 mammals per student.
  • Pets that are not allowed include dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, 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, VMC animals, etc.
  • Upon arrival on campus each pet must be registered with the Resident Assistant and the Pet Proctor of their hall/floor. This includes any animals brought in throughout the school year. The failure to do so within 24 hours will result in the loss of that individual's pet privileges.
  • Pets must be kept in the owner's room at all times. 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 includes public spaces throughout campus (administrative and classroom buildings and green space).
  • 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 12 hours 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. Clogged sinks from animal debris will be result in pet privileges being suspended campus wide.
  • All fabrics or materials laundered in the college laundry machines must also be free of animal debris. Recurring repairs as a result of animal debris will also necessitate a suspension of pet privileges across campus.
  • Pet owners are responsible for any and all damage caused to college facilities by their pets.
  • When meetings involving pet owners are called, they are mandatory and fines will be implemented for those who miss them.
  • 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.
Monitoring of Pets within the Residence Halls

In an effort to ensure that all pets are properly cared for, pet policies are being followed, and pet-related issues or concerns in the community are being addressed quickly and professionally, the Pet Proctor and the Resident Assistant have the following responsibilities:

Pet Proctor:

1. The Pet Proctor is a self-nominating position and is available to all students who live on campus and are willing to take the position seriously. However, because of the nature of the position, it is highly recommended that the Pet Proctor be a sophomore, junior, or senior in the VMT field, pre-vet, or someone who has proven to be knowledgeable about animals.

2. There will be one Pet Proctor per resident hall community (1 per RA). The floor/hall will vote within the first two weeks of the fall semester to determine who will hold this position. The Pet Proctor position will be held for one year.

3. The Pet Proctors must attend a mandatory training with the Director of Residence Life and the VMC staff at the start of each semester.

4. S/he is required to have a list of pets on their hall. This includes the owner's name, room assignment, number and type of animal(s) in the room, number and type of habitats in the room. This list must be updated on a monthly basis at minimum.

5. The Pet Proctor must conduct regular checks of animal rooms every 2-3 weeks.

6. The Pet Proctor has the authority to decide if the animal is being treated or housed inhumanely (i.e. including cleanliness, odor control, handling, etc.).

7. S/he has the authority to confront the pet owner about any concerns regarding the animals including excess odor from the animal, the animal's cage, or the room.

8. S/he has the authority to implement the warning system.

9. S/he must inform the Resident Assistant of any concerns, issues, or violations related to the Pet Policy.

10. S/he has the authority to call a pet meeting to discuss any major problems or any new information about pets.

11. S/he has the authority to see that the animal is removed from the owner's possession after the final warning and to see that all of that individual's future privileges are lost.

Resident Assistant:
  1. S/he will work closely with the Pet Proctor their floor/hall to ensure that the Pet Policy is enforced.
  2. S/he must notify the Pet Proctor and the Director of Residence Life of any concerns, issues, or violations related to the Pet Policy.
  3. S/he is required to have a list of pets on their hall. This includes the owner's name, room assignment, number and type of animal(s) in the room, number and type of habitats in the room. This list must be updated on a monthly basis at minimum.
  4. S/he has the authority to confront the pet owner any concerns regarding the animals including excess odor from the animal, the animal's cage, or the room.
  5. S/he has the authority to implement the warning system.
  6. S/he has the authority to call a pet meeting to discuss any major problems or any new information about pets.
  7. Additionally, the Resident Assistant may attend any or all pet meetings, but their attendance is not required.

All pet owners agree, by bringing a pet on campus, that they will abide by the above policies. Because the pet policy is a privilege and has a dramatic impact on the community and facilities, violations of the pet policy are viewed with extreme seriousness. Violations of the pet policy by any Wilson student will result in implementation of the warning system. The warning system is a guideline but the warning system may be implemented at any stage that the specifics of a situation warrant.

  1. First Warning: The pet owner will receive a written warning and a $25 fine. The pet owner now has only two written warnings left before s/he must remove the animal from ownership.
  2. Second Warning: The pet owner will receive a second written warning and a $50 fine. The pet owner has one written warning left before s/he must remove the animal from ownership.
  3. Third (Final) Warning: The pet owner will receive a final written warning, a $100 fine, and complete loss of current and future pet privileges. At this point, the pet owner has one week to remove the animal from ownership. If the pet is not removed within one week, the matter will result in an Honor Council case.

Clause I: Any resident who has an animal that is not allowed will automatically receive a fine equivalent to the third warning and loss of pet privileges. The animal must be removed from campus within 24 hours.

Clause II: Any situation that the Pet Proctor, the RA, the Director of Residence Life, or the Dean of Students feels is unethical or inhumane to the animal will result in an automatic third warning.

Clause III: The pet owner will see that any animal of which they are giving up ownership (either required or voluntary) goes to a responsible owner. Failure to do so will be seen as unethical/inhumane treatment subject to fining or referral to Honor Council.

Clause IV: If the pet owner would like to appeal their warnings, the appeal will be heard by Honor Council.