Pets on campus on tighter leash

A new state code for animal control comes as a relief to WSU grounds maintenance and custodial staff.
Washington State Administrative Code (WAC) 504-36-020, labeled Control of Animals, took effect Dec. 25 for WSU. It spells out guidelines for having animals on campus. These guidelines prohibit animals in university buildings, require animals to be under immediate control (physical restraint), and require the owners/handlers to pick up fecal matter.
According to Kappy Brun, Facilities Operations grounds supervisor, the biggest problem at WSU Pullman has been large deposits of feces on the grounds.
“It’s extremely unpleasant,” she said. “We have to work around it while weeding, pruning and picking up litter. It also gets on our equipment and impacts our mechanic and equipment operators.
“We hear a lot of public complaints as well,” Brun said. “People have to watch where they step or sit, and it draws flies.”
Environmental Health and Safety also has praised the code for helping to reduce the levels of fecal matter going into the stormwater system.
Meanwhile, pets inside buildings add work for the custodial staff, said Tom Parrish, director of Custodial Services.
“It’s not an appropriate place for pets,” he said.
“Problem areas have been in Fulmer and Daggy, but it’s a pretty widespread problem. Students even have avoided taking classes in certain areas because of animal dander.
 “It’s usually faculty or staff who bring their pets to work all day,” he said.
The new code does make exceptions for such things as animals participating in shows or events, service and guide dogs, dogs in law enforcement, and animals owned by the university or in its care.