7.8 Pets in the workplace policy



Staff who operate from Therapeutic Dog Services Offices, Hubs and Centres

Policy brief & purpose

Our pets in the workplace policy outlines our rules for bringing, caring for and supervising pets in our company’s offices.

We believe that pets can foster a friendlier and happier workplace. They are fun, playful and can have positive influence on our work. We will allow our members to have their pets at work, however you need permission from Director to approve the dog to be on premises prior to bringing your pet to work. This falls to the discretion of the Director. Email: j.morrish@tdsinc.com.au or Phone 0415 132 654.

However, we want to make sure that animals will not disrupt our operations, damage properties, or cause medical issues to other members. We expect everyone to read and respect this policy.

Scope

This policy refers to all our members, employees, visitors, contractors, and consultants.

It applies to any space our company owns or rents where members perform their job duties. Regarding spaces our company rents, we are responsible to check appropriate regulations and seek approval from owner or building manager.

Policy elements

Members who own pets can choose to bring them to their workplace. They should always consult with the Director:

  • the pet is adequately trained

  • Present current documentation that covers their pets

  • Provide proof that their pets are clean, properly vaccinated, and free of parasites

  • Ensure their pet will not cause allergies or other medical problems for their co-workers

  • Sign waivers that state their pet’s information and their owner’s responsibility towards them

What pets are allowed?

  • Therapeutic Dog Services Owned and Trained dogs are allowed at any given time. No other dogs are permitted on premises when the AAI dogs are present as a pack/team.

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Other pets that are allowed:

The Director can give specific instructions.

  • Office pets are usually dogs and cats, but any pet that is well-trained and not potentially dangerous or unpleasant is also allowed. Young animals are not allowed until they are adequately trained. Pets like snakes, spiders, and bunnies (which chew up cords) are prohibited in the workplace.

  • All dog breeds should be on a leash and their movements restricted to their owner’s office space. Their owner is responsible for informing others of their dog’s presence, preferably with a sign. The Director can give specific instructions about those pets.

  • When pets get sick, owners should leave them at home.

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Owner’s responsibilities

Generally, we want to ensure that our company and members’ pets are cared for properly. Pet owners should clean up after their pets. They are solely responsible for their pet’s behaviour and well-being. They should always supervise their pets in the workplace or know their location. More specifically, they should make sure their animal does not:

  • Make a mess

  • Fight with other office pets

  • Wander in prohibited places

  • Endanger themselves or others

  • Damage company or employee property

  • Annoy co-workers (e.g. barking constantly, climbing on their desks)

If any of these occur, it falls to the Directors discretion to determine the seriousness of the pet’s actions. As a rule, if the pet misbehaves three times or becomes overly aggressive, their owner may be prohibited from bringing the pet to the office again. They will also be responsible for any expenses and cleaning resulting from their pet’s behaviour.

Owners can leave work to walk their dogs on their lunch breaks. They should avoid using up excessive work time to look after their pets. If a pet needs constant care and attention, their owner may be instructed to leave them at home. Same goes for days that their owner has a busy schedule and will not be able to supervise them.

Pet owners are advised not to leave pets in their vehicles for great periods of time. In some jurisdictions, leaving pets in cars confined or unattended, in conditions that may endanger them, is illegal. Pet owners are obliged to know the law. When members use company vehicles, we prohibit them from leaving pets inside, unattended and without proper ventilation, food/drink, or in extreme temperatures.

Areas where pets are prohibited

There are certain places and times where our company prohibits office pets:

  • Labs, basements, and attics

  • Offices of employees with allergies

  • Places with sensitive equipment or material

  • Kitchen or cafeteria, where food is served or exposed

  • Meeting rooms during meetings with clients or external potential community dog visiting parties

  • Information sessions where other potential community dog visiting teams might be attending

  • Temperament testing days

Office managers and other members should inform Director of any unattended or misbehaving pets at work.

The Director and HR Department may instruct members to restrict their pets at certain instances (e.g. company parties). We expect members to comply with those instructions. In cases when the number of pets in the office, we will have to restrict them. Members can then bring their pets to work according to a schedule.

Complaint process

We want all members to feel safe in their workplace. If a member has concerns or problems resulting from a pet at work, they can follow this process:

1. Talk to the pet’s owner in case they can resolve the problem immediately

2. Reach out to their supervisor explaining their issues

3. Consult the HR department or Director if they do not get a satisfactory response

4. File an official complaint

If they have a medical or personal issue (e.g. allergy, phobia), they can directly contact the HR department or Director any department responsible for Health & Safety.

Supervisors should take their members concerns seriously and investigate as soon as they receive complaints. If they are unable to resolve the problem, they should contact the HR department and inform the Director.

This policy does not prohibit service animals (animals trained to perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.) They can move freely with their owners. If any problem arises because of service animals, we will make appropriate accommodations to resolve it. This falls to the discretion of the Director. But we will not, under any circumstances, create problems for our members with disabilities.

We also instruct members to not feed other members pets at work, if not authorised.

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