Texas Tech University


[NEW OP–initial posting 3/5/20]
[PDF Version]

 Texas Tech University academic coat of arms

Operating Policy and Procedure

OP 61.46: Therapy Dog Sessions Within University Buildings

DATE: March 5, 2020

PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to establish a standard procedure for groups bringing therapy dogs on campus or within university buildings.

REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in August of every fourth year (to coincide with review of OP 61.38) by the Associate Vice President for Operations, Chief of Texas Tech Police Department, Managing Director of the Texas Tech University Student Disability Services, and Managing Director of Business Services for Operations Division with substantial revisions forwarded through the Vice President for Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer.


1.  Definitions

a.    Therapy dog – a dog trained to provide emotional assistance to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, and disaster areas. Therapy dogs are defined but not covered or protected under the Federal Housing Act or Americans with Disabilities Act.

2.  Therapy dogs will be allowed on campus under the following conditions:

a.    Therapy dog(s) and their handlers must be certified by a third party. Third-party certification ensures the individuals hosting therapy sessions are qualified to host sessions beneficial to the well-being of the participants of that session.

b.    It is the responsibility of the individual providing the therapy session to ensure they are certified with an accredited organization. American Kennel Club, https://www.akc.org/sports/title-recognition-program/therapy-dog-program/therapy-dog-organizations/, provides a list of certified organizations.

c.    The event is sponsored by a sanctioned Texas Tech University college, department, faculty/staff, or student group.

d.   The event is a recognized therapy session in accordance with recognized practices of the certifying organization for providing therapeutic benefits to participants attending these events.

e.   The certifying organization must provide insurance coverage of at least $1,000,000 or more.

f.   Therapy dog(s) must have current rabies vaccinations, with tags on collars.

3.  When scheduling activities on campus, the following steps must be taken by the sponsoring group or individual

a.   Outdoor events must be approved by the Outdoor Events Coordinating Committee at least two weeks prior to the date of the event, http://www.depts.ttu.edu/sub/UniversityGrounds/.

b.    Events hosted within Education and General Use Facilities are required to take the following steps:

(1)   Schedule the event two weeks prior within the Event and Instructional Space Management website, http://www.depts.ttu.edu/odpa/spi/eism/.

(2) Obtain permission from the building manager, dean and/or chair of the department or college within the building where the event will be hosted. Contact information may be obtained from the dean's office of that location.

4.  Parking for dog handlers must be prearranged through Transportation & Parking Services, http://www.depts.ttu.edu/parking/Events/SubmitEvent.php.

Operating Policies & Procedures