Campus Dog Policy

The following regulations have been established in order to provide for the health and safety of Mount Holyoke College students, staff and visitors; for the protection and efficient use and enjoyment of the College's property; and for the responsible management and operation of the College.

A reasonable dog policy, focused on owner responsibility, will improve the quality of the campus life inside and outside of buildings while minimizing the use of resources on avoidable cleanup and repairs. Beyond the obvious concerns for property maintenance and personal welfare, it is hoped that these regulations will foster an atmosphere where all can enjoy the College's facilities in a comfortable and relaxed setting.

While the College's properties are private and not public, the following regulations are, nevertheless, consistent with the Town of South Hadley Dog Ordinance and the Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 140, Section 167; both of which recognize that a dog's owner is responsible for the behavior of the dog.

Service Animals - Exception

Please note that the following policy does not apply to persons with disabilities bringing service animals to assist them in their attendance or work at Mount Holyoke College. Such animals may accompany the person they are assisting into any area they would normally have access to as part of their enrollment or employment at Mount Holyoke College. However, a service animal must be under the control of its owner at all times while on campus. The care or supervision of a service animal is solely the responsibility of his or her owner. 

Inside Buildings

The occupants of each building will be asked to choose one of the following options, A, B, or C, that state rules which will apply within the College's non-residence hall buildings (dogs are not allowed in residence halls). The Director of Physical Facilities and the Chief of Campus Police will have final approval of all policy choices.

1. No dogs allowed in the building.

2. Choose an option below:

  • Dogs must be leashed and under control of their owner in all common areas (hallways, elevators, stairwells, etc.) at all times. Dogs may not be left unattended in common areas regardless of how they may be secured.
  • Dogs may be left unattended in private offices if the door is closed, and posted as having a dog inside.
  • Regardless of whether the dog is in a private office or a common area the owner is responsible for immediate cleanup and repairs of incidental damage caused by the dog. Cleanup should be thorough enough so as to generate no additional work for the College staff.

3. A policy unique to the building that follows the general guidelines of B. This policy should be submitted to the Director of Facilities Management and the Chief of Campus Police for approval. Until approval, option B will be in effect.

Outside Buildings

The following rules apply to the College property outside of buildings.

Dogs must be leashed and under control at all times (unless posted differently).

  • Dogs are not allowed on athletic fields at any time, even if leashed.
  • While on Mount Holyoke property the owner must have a means to clean up after the dog in compliance with the town's dog waste ordinance. Specifically, "The owner or person(s) who possess or control the dog when appearing with the dog on any public walk, street, recreation area or private property shall possess the means of removal of any fecal matter left by the dog."Unless the dog is on an unmowed, unmaintained, or designated area, the owner is responsible for immediate cleanup of incidental damage caused by the dog (including digging damage).
  • Cleanup should be thorough enough so as to generate no additional work for the College Horticultural staff or inconvenience for the College Community, i.e.; Students, Faculty, Visitors, etc.
  • Owner cleanup is unnecessary if the dog relieves itself in the woods or on any unmowed or unmaintained area.

Violations of this policy will generally be handled through a system of progressive/corrective penalties that will be administered by the College's Campus Police Department. Other college employees will be encouraged to inform people of the policy and inform them of any violations.

  • First Step - the violator will be given a verbal warning by Campus Police or the person's supervisor that will remind them of the rules and their specific violation of them.
  • Second Step - the violator will be given a written warning from Campus Police or the person's supervisor that will inform them of the seriousness of their infraction and that the next step will be exclusion from the College's property. A written warning will be given if an owner refuses to clean up incidental damage.
  • Third Step - if the offender is from the local community the College will exclude the offender and/or their dog from campus for a twenty-four month period. If the offender is from the campus community, the dog will be excluded for a 24 month period.
  • Any person threatening a Mount Holyoke College employee will be trespassed (excluded from campus) immediately.
  • Incidents of dog bites should be reported to the Campus Police Department within 24 hours. These will be investigated on an individual basis by the Chief of Campus Police and the Director of Physical Facilities following state, town and college guidelines.

Finally, if none of these above measures are effective, the College will pursue the matter through legal channels.