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4.05 SCL – In-House Pets

Purpose

Individuals may request to have a pet in their home. For this to occur, the individual must demonstrate informed consent regarding appropriate care for the animal requested as well as the ability to provide this care. Due to the shared living environment, all housemates and their guardians must consent to having pets as this may affect their lives through noise, odor, wandering, etc.

Procedure

  • Upon individual request for pet, The Program Coordinator will call an addendum meeting for the team to discuss the individual’s understanding of the necessary care for the animal, the individual’s ability to provide care, expenses involved, and any additional concerns.
  • If further assessment is required regarding the individual’s desire or ability to care for an animal, the team may recommend a trial of volunteer service at the Humane Society, animal shelter, pet store, etc.
  • Once the individual’s desire and ability to provide necessary care has been established, the team will interview his/her housemates for their willingness to have a pet in the home. A pet which may affect the lives of the individual’s housemates through noise, odor, movement throughout the home, etc. may not enter the home without consent of all housemates and guardians.
  • If applicable, nursing will provide information to the team regarding any housemate’s allergies to the animal requested.
  • After all assessments have been completed, the Program Coordinator will review the results with the team and request that the SSA contact the landlord for approval. The Program Coordinator will send an application for the pet and inspection of the home.
  • The Program Coordinator will draft a formal guidelines for the respective individuals to care for the animal prior to the animal’s arrival in the home.
  • The team will monitor the animal’s status within the home on a regular basis and call a meeting if any concerns arise.

Pet Care

The individual should participate in all aspects of the pet care as outlined in their ISP. Staff should assist the individual with all aspects of pet care as per the plan, including assistance with transport to and from the veterinarian. 

Open Door employees are expected to respect the individual’s choice to own pets. Therefore, at no time, may any employee place the pet in cage, leave them outside, or otherwise alter the home environment of the pet in any way for the employee’s own need or preference.

If an employee has an allergy concern with pets, the employee should seek medical documentation supporting the allergy and provide to HR. This documentation must be on file in order to exclude staff from working in SCL homes with pets.

Last Revised: 8/25/21

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