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: 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 smell glucose levels in people with diabetes, dogs trained to warn a person about an epileptic seizure, and many other kinds. 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.
  • Therapy/Emotional Support/Comfort Animals: A therapy or comfort 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. A therapy animal provides emotional assistance and support to an owner by increasing the owner’s calm and sense of stability. They are not qualified or trained as service animals. Students who need therapy animals will be given reasonable accommodation by the university as long as the student makes a request with the Accessibility Officer in the Department of Student Life. The university does not approve animals deemed to be health or safety risks. Therapy animals 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 a therapy animal must request permission in advance of arriving on campus, and provide a letter from a licensed healthcare provider that attests that the student has a disability that requires the presence of the animal in the campus residence. Please submit this letter to Lydia Hickman, Accessibility Officer, at Examples of a health care provider include a therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, primary care doctor, or nurse. The health care provider should be familiar with the professional literature concerning therapy animals. The letter should be on letterhead and include a simple description of the type of support the animal will provide. The Accessibility Officer may contact the health care provider to confirm the need for a therapy animal. Documentation of the necessity for a therapy animal must be submitted at the beginning of each year the student continues to reside in university housing.

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 therapy or service animal 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. Therapy 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.
  8. In accordance with local ordinances, the animal must be immunized against diseases common to that type of animal. Dogs must be licensed, have a current vaccination against rabies and wear a rabies vaccination tag.
  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. Owners must adhere to all other residential and student code of conduct policies.

For further questions, please contact Lydia Hickman, Accessibility Officer at


Follow MIU