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Proposed Pet Policy Discussed at PAT Council Meeting

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
October 13, 2010

A policy aimed at regulating household pets on campus was discussed at the recent PAT Council meeting following a summary of the proposal by Guy Eaton, communications and information coordinator for facilities, operations and maintenance.

If adopted as written, pets would not be permitted in any building on campus, including labs, classrooms and offices, and those on university grounds would have to be under their owner’s control. Owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets.

“Pets in campus buildings may create an unhealthy and unpleasant environment for faculty, staff, students, and visitors. Additionally, pets may behave aggressively, injure members of the campus community, and/or could impede egress in a building evacuation,” the draft reads.   

Dining Services, housing, and the MUB are covered under a separate policy.

Exceptions to the proposal include service animals; animals used in university research or classrooms; animals trained for specific UNH-sanctioned performances (i.e., outside theatrical production); fish in aquariums containing no more than 30 gallons of water;  and pets on farms as permitted by the dean of COLSA. 

 “Under no circumstances should animals be allowed to run loose or be tied to buildings, handrails, trees, bicycle racks, or other objects. Pet owners will be responsible for all costs involved in removing unattended pets, including pets left unsupervised in vehicles where the animal’s safety is in jeopardy. No household pets are allowed on campus athletic fields,” according to the proposed policy.

After presenting the draft to the OS Council for their input, a working group will be formed that, with representation of faculty and staff, will come up with a workable agreement.

Also discussed at the council’s monthly meeting was the impact health care reform has on USNH health plans. Highlights of the changes include, in 2010, imputed income is no longer changed to cover adult children. In 2011, an employee’s adult children up to the age of 26 can be on their insurance plan. Also new in 2011: there won’t be any co-pay or deductible for in-network preventative care doctors’ visits (annual exams; well-child exams, i.e.) or diagnostic tests.

A key change is that you can’t use your flexible spending account (FSA) or health reimbursement account (HRA) for over-the-counter medications such as Advil and Tylenol without a prescription, effective Jan. 1, 2011, regardless of the plan year.     

Effective 2012, the value of health care benefits will be reported on an employee’s W-2.

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