Doggy Days at the MIB and SIB

4/21/2017
Last edited 4/21/2017

On March 23, 2017, National Puppy Day, Secretary Zinke announced that the Main and South Department of the Interior Buildings will be dog friendly on Friday, May 5 and Friday, September 1, 2017. These two test days are part of a pilot program for Doggy Days at the Department of the Interior, intended to boost employee morale.

To ensure a safe and productive environment for both employees and dogs, we are providing rules and additional information for MIB and SIB Federal employees who are interested in bringing a dog to work, and for employees who prefer not to participate and may have concerns about the impact of Doggy Days on them. Bringing a dog to work is a privilege that comes with responsibility. No employee should feel required to participate in Doggy Days or feel unsafe or unable to work. In addition to the information below, you will also be required to submit an application and receive advance approval in order to participate.

In order to foster a dog-friendly work environment and for the success of Doggy Days:

  • Dogs must be fully housebroken, current on vaccinations, parasite-free (fleas, ticks, etc.), comfortable with people and other dogs, obedient, spayed or neutered, and of good hygiene (no strong odors or muddy paws).
  • Any dog with a history that includes a bite of a person or dog that required medical attention or resulted in formal complaint is ineligible to participate.
  • Dogs must be at least 6 months old and in good health.
  • Dog owners will be 100 percent responsible, 100 percent of the time for their dog’s well-being, behavior and biological needs, including scooping, bagging, cleaning, and sanitizing as needed.
  • Dog owners should doggy proof their office before bringing a dog to work (e.g. hiding electrical cords, covering trash receptacles).
  • Dog owners must be respectfully attentive to coworkers who may be uncomfortable or distracted by their dog’s behavior, proactively address distractions and be open to co-workers suggestions.
  • Dog owners must keep dogs on a leash (and preferably harnessed) at all times and respect specified dog-free zones, including the Bison Bistro, Watering Hole, 4th floor snack bar, kitchenettes, restrooms, child care center, Interior Museum, Indian Craft Shop, employee showers, IDRA store, postal unit and, fitness center, as well as any office with a sign indicating it is a dog free zone.

Any failure to comply with these rules may result in the Department denying a dog’s participation in the pilot. Employees should not bring dogs to work on the days the pilot will be run unless they have received approval.

If you wish to bring your dog to Doggy Day on May 5, please complete a dog profile application.

You must submit the application and review and sign the attached Rules and Acknowledgement of Responsibility form by April 21, 2017. The Rules and Acknowledgement of Responsibility form should be sent to the OFAS Service Desk at facilities@ios.doi.gov. or you may hand-carry it to OFAS staff in 1500 East (Attention: Joe Nassar). You will be notified via email when your information (i.e., dog profile and signed form) has been reviewed and approved. You must present a copy of the approval email to building security on May 5, 2017, as you enter the building.

For employees with allergies or other health concerns related to dogs, we are fortunate to have several human resources flexibilities that will allow employees to continue to work, re-arrange their work schedules, or take leave. Accordingly, the Department encourages supervisors and managers to allow the use of telework (for employees with signed telework agreements) to keep the government operating during this event. Employees who can be spared from their duties may also request to adjust their work schedule and use their Alternative Work Schedule day off or take annual leave, leave without pay, and/or previously earned compensatory time off or earned credit hours under a flexible work schedule, with supervisory approval. Using these flexibilities effectively will promote the exceptional mission of the Department.

The Department will send anonymous surveys to employees in the MIB and SIB following May 5, 2017, and September 1, 2017, to assess the success of the pilot. Please look for those surveys and provide any feedback you might have.