Animal Policy

Maharishi International University does not allow students to keep pets in their dormitory rooms. The fine for keeping pets on campus is $50 per day.

The only exceptions to this policy are for service animals or therapy animals:

· Service Animals (SA): A service animal is a dog specially trained to perform a particular task to aid a disabled person. A classic example is a seeing-eye dog, but there are also dogs trained to perform other tasks. Service animals are working animals, not a pet. With limited exceptions, a service animal goes everywhere the owner goes. Handlers are responsible for keeping the dog on a leash and making sure that the dog is not disruptive or a nuisance. If the dog does not conform to service dog required behaviors and manners, the dog and the owner may be asked to leave the space and must comply.

· Emotional Support Animals (ESA): An emotional support animal is an untrained animal that is necessary to provide a person with a qualifying disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy university housing. Students who require ESAs will be given reasonable accommodation by the university as long as the student makes a request with the Department of Student Life. The university does not approve animals deemed to be health or safety risks. ESAs must remain in a student’s room and may not accompany the owner to class or other activities.

Application Process


Students who would like to keep an ESA must request permission in advance of bringing the animal on campus and provide a letter from a psychologist or psychiatrist that attests that the student has a disability that requires the presence of the animal in the campus residence. Please submit this letter to: The letter should be on letterhead and include a simple description of the type of support the animal will provide. The Student Life Office may contact the health care provider to confirm the need for a therapy animal.

The requester will also need to provide records that the animal has up-to-date vaccinations.

In addition, dogs will need to be registered by the city of Fairfield as required by local ordinances. Fees are $10.00 a year for spayed and neutered dogs and $50.00 for non-spayed and non-neutered dogs. Proof of registration will need to be provided to the university.

Requesters will also sign an agreement form that shows they understand and will abide by the following responsibilities.


1. Owners of approved for therapy or service animals are responsible for assuring that the animal does not unduly interfere with the routine activities of the residence hall community or cause difficulties for students who reside there.

2. Owners are financially responsible for the actions caused by the animal including bodily injury or property damage. Examples of expenses for which an owner could be responsible include: replacement or repair of damaged furniture, carpet, windows or walls. The owner is expected to cover these costs at the time of repair.

3. Owners are responsible for any expenses incurred for cleaning above and beyond a standard cleaning or for repairs to university premises that are assessed after the student and animal vacate the residence. The university has the right to bill the student account of the owner for unmet obligations.

4. Owners must provide appropriate care and supervision to the SA and/or ESA and are expected to maintain control of the animal at all times. Animals who become a nuisance will have to be removed.

5. Owners are responsible for ensuring the cleanup of the animal’s waste. Indoor animal waste, such as cat litter, must be placed in a sturdy plastic bag and securely tied before being disposed of in outside trash dumpsters. Litter boxes should be placed on mats so that waste is not tracked onto carpeted surfaces. Dog waste must be picked up and disposed of, not left on university grounds.

6. The owner’s residence may be inspected for fleas, ticks or other pests as needed. If fleas, ticks or other pests are detected through inspection, the residence will be treated using approved fumigation methods by a university-approved pest control service. The owner will be billed for the expense of any pest treatment beyond standard pest management in the residence halls.

7. Emotional Support Animals must be contained within the owner’s room, except when transported outside the private residential area in an animal carrier or controlled by leash or harness. ESAs may not accompany the student to classes or in common areas of the campus buildings.

8. In accordance with local ordinances, the animal must be immunized against diseases common to that type of animal. Dogs must be licensed and have a current vaccination against rabies.

9. Animals may not be left overnight in university housing to be cared for by another student. Animals must be taken with students if they leave campus for a prolonged period.

10. Owners must provide the Accessibility Officer and the Housing Department with contact information for an alternate caregiver, in case of an emergency, or if the owner is unable or unwilling to provide adequate care for the animal. The university will assume no responsibility or liability for the care of a resident’s therapy animal.

11. Housing has the ability to relocate an owner and approved animal if necessary.

12. Animals may not reside in the Vastu dormitories.

For further questions, please contact via email: or call 641-472-1225.


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