It’s spring, and Portland State is seeing more canine companions on campus. While dog owners want their dogs to have a good time on campus, there are rules about where canines can go. The PSU Service Animal and Emotional Support Animal Policy states: “Pets are generally prohibited indoors on the PSU campus, except in University Housing.
It’s spring, and Portland State is seeing more canine companions on campus.
While dog owners want their dogs to have a good time on campus, there are rules about where canines can go.
The PSU Service Animal and Emotional Support Animal Policy states: “Pets are generally prohibited indoors on the PSU campus, except in University Housing. [Owners must be in compliance] with any laws pertaining to animal licensing, vaccination and owner identification; keeping the animal under control and taking effective action when it is out of control; and feeding and walking the animal, and disposing of its waste.”
Of concern lately have been dogs running around off their leashes and dog owners not picking up after their animals.
Campus child care facilities are affected when dog owners don’t follow these policies. Both facilities take small groups of children for walks on campus throughout the day.
Helen Gordon Child Development Center Director Ellie Justice said an infant and toddler teacher has often brought concerns to her about off-leash dogs and their interaction with young children.
“Big dogs that were off the leash that are much bigger to the children would approach the infants, and that has been frightening to them, which is a concern to the teachers,”
The children are not the only ones that have had a run in with off-leash dogs. Kim Allen, program director of the Associated Student of Portland State University’s Children’s Center, said she recently had a run-in with an off-leash dog.
“I was walking up to Helen Gordon two weeks ago and a dog took a hold of my purse. He was with someone but he was not on a leash and…he wouldn’t let it go,” Allen said.
According to Oregon’s animal laws, if a dog owner is caught with their animal off leash or caught not picking up after their animal they are subject to a $150 fine. This is an issue for dog owners who live or take their animal on campus, and both child care centers agree that animal waste is a top concern for them.
Irene Coppa, assistant lead teacher at the Children’s Center, said dog waste can pose particular challenges.
“It’s really hard for us to take a group of 20-something children outside and then have three or four of them step in dog poop,” Coppa said. “We can’t walk them back into the building. We have to take their shoes off, and that’s really difficult.”
The children at the Children’s Center have gone as far as making signs to post around the playground to remind dog owners to pick up after their animals. Some of those signs have been taken down, employees said.
Even with designated dog parks around PSU, people allow their dogs off their leashes in the Park Blocks.
Jordan Smith, a PSU student and dog owner, believes that if there were doggie bags available around the Park Blocks people would be more likely to pick up after their animals.
“I think it would help a lot if there was an area where you could pick up dog bags, just to have PSU reinforce the fact that they want a clean campus,” Smith said.
For more information on dog policies on campus, go to drc.pdx.edu/Forms/ServiceAnimalPolicy.pdf or contact the Campus Public Safety Office at 503-725-4407.