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Service and Emotional Support Animals

Service Animals

A service animal is a dog (or miniature horse) trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.  Individuals with service animals are entitled to the same access as their peers.

If the service animal’s purpose is apparent (e.g., a guide dog for an individual without sight), you should not ask the individual using the animal any questions about the use of the animal.  You may discuss issues surrounding the use of the animal, such as seating of or breaks for the animal.  If it is not clear that an animal is needed for a disability, you may only ask two questions of an individual with a service animal:

  1. Is the animal required because of disability?
  2. What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?

Questions concerning a service animal should be directed to the DRC. No student or employee should be required to disclose his/her disability in order to work or study at the University.

Requirements for Service Animals:

  1. The animal must be under the control of the individual using the animal. 
  2. If the animal displays out of control behavior (i.e. aggressive or disruptive behavior such as uncontrolled barking), the individual using the animal must attempt to get the animal under control. If unable to do so, then you may inform the individual that the service animal must be removed from the room or activity. 
  3. The animal must be “housebroken” and the individual using the animal is responsible for cleaning up after the animal. 

Emotional Support Animals

Emotional Support Animals (ESA), sometimes called assistance, therapy, support or comfort animals, are not, in most cases, recognized by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) as Service Animals.  Such animals must follow the general policies regarding animals on campus unless they are service animals.   The right to have an emotional support animal (ESA) in and around University Housing facilities is based upon establishing that the use of the animal is a reasonable and necessary accommodation.

Process for Use of an Emotional Support Animal

  1. Student follows DRC Registration Procedures (please refer to DRC Registration).
  2. Student engages in the interactive process with DRC to determine eligibility for use of the requested accommodation.
  3. DRC notifies University Housing Services or University Village of the accommodation determination.