Policy 95

University of Wisconsin-Parkside
Therapy Dogs Visitation Policy
Policy #95


In accordance with federal, state and local laws, and University of Wisconsin System policies, UW-Parkside has adopted a Therapy Dog Visitation Policy and Procedure.

Scope of Policy

This Section applies only to dogs certified through Therapy Dogs International (TDI), or an equivalent organization. Therapy dogs must comply with all provisions under this section.


Therapy dogs are trained and certified by qualified handlers who use the dogs for comfort and companion enrichment of others.

Purpose of Therapy Dogs on the UW-P Campus

The primary objective of a therapy dog and handler is to provide comfort and companionship to others by sharing the animal with students, faculty, and staff of the University. This is done in a way that increases emotional well-being and improves the quality of life for the people being visited. For the purpose of this policy, therapy dogs are not defined as service dogs or assistance animals.

Therapy Dog Requirements

Therapy dogs on the UW-P campus must be registered with Therapy Dogs International (TDI) or an equivalent organization and be in good standing with that organization. Therapy dogs must comply with all provisions under this section.

Rules applied to Therapy Dog visits

Therapy dogs are only allowed in common areas/entrances of University buildings, and possibly in other specified areas (such as a classroom) with advance approval.

Therapy dog visits are not allowed in food preparation areas, laboratories, or research areas where the animal is in potential danger of any form of contamination.

Therapy dogs are not allowed in classes unless:

  • The class professor has approved the visit in advance.
  • That class's subject matter pertains directly to the study of therapy dogs and their work.
  • The dog and handler are not disruptive to the learning environment.

During visits, handlers are expected to protect works made by students, faculty, staff, and the general public wherever those works are on display and could be damaged.

Handlers can bring personal items to an office/ designated area for storage during a therapy dog visit but are not allowed to leave the dog alone in an office/designated area.

Handlers must always keep the dogs on leash and under control.

Any pet waste deposited on university lands shall be removed and properly disposed of by the handler.

Liability and Insurance

The handler shall provide proof of insurance for the therapy dog and handler, naming the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, its officers, employees and agents as additional insured. The owner shall be responsible for all liability related to the therapy dog and all insurance requirements related to the therapy animal. UW-P/State of Wisconsin provides no indemnification to the therapy dog or owner. UW-P/State of Wisconsin provides no personal property insurance coverage.

Therapy Dog Health Requirements

All Therapy Dogs must meet the TDI, or equivalent organization, Health Requirements. Because the registration through TDI requires these documents, the University does not need additional documentation. TDI requirements include:

  • Annual Check-up attested to by your Veterinarian within the past year.
  • Mandatory Rabies Vaccine (1, 2, or 3 Year – Must be given by a veterinarian).
  • An initial series of core Distemper, Hepatitis, and Parvovirus Vaccinations.
  • A negative Fecal Exam must have been done within the past year.
  • A negative Heartworm test must have been done within the past year if the dog is not on continuous heartworm preventative medication. A negative Heartworm test must have been done within the past two years if the dog is on a continuous heartworm preventative medication.

All Therapy Dogs must be registered with the University

Therapy dog handlers must submit a copy of active registration with Therapy Dogs International, or equivalent organization, with the University Administration. Handlers must comply with all TDI, or equivalent organization, dog identification requirements during visits on campus, including TDI, or equivalent organization:

  • TDI Dog tag on collar
  • TDI Dog/Handler identification card
  • TDI Dog bandana



Revised: Fall 2014, Fall 2022

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