Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Policies

Guidelines for Emotional Support Animal Requests

Walla Walla University has a general “no pets” policy in all campus buildings, including University housing. However, service animals are allowed to accompany their handlers on campus and in their residence hall. Emotional support Animals (ESAs) may be requested as an accommodation in housing through Disability Support Services. 


Service animal: An individually trained dog to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.  
Emotional Support Animals (ESA): Can be dogs and cats that provide passive support that mitigates, in full or part, an impact of a person’s disability, allowing them to benefit from WWU’s Housing and Residence programs and services. 

Service Animal Policy

Walla Walla University’s Service Animal Policy addresses to the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 Rehabilitation Act of 1973, ensuring compliance and support for students with disabilities. The ADA protects service animals that are trained to actively mitigate the impact of their handler’s disability. If a service animal’s role is not apparent by observation, you can be asked, “Is that a service animal for a disability?” and “What service / task does it perform for you?” The service animal is an access need, not something students need to request to have an accommodation for. Therefore, students will not need to submit documentation of a disability for it to be used on campus. However, please notify DSS it is coming to campus. Documentation is only needed if you are requesting additional accommodation.  

All Walla Walla University, students and employees are highly encouraged to be familiar with this policy, regardless of whether they utilize a service animal, so that they understand the rights and needs of others and to behave appropriately towards service animals on campus.

View the full Service Animal Policy.

Emotional Support Animal Policy

By the Fair Housing Act (1988), Emotional Support Animals are not limited to dogs alone but can also include cats and other animals. These animals provide passive support like relieving loneliness, helping with anxiety, depression, and companionship. ESAs do not perform tasks that mitigate the impact of a person’s disability.  

In order for DSS to approve an ESA accommodation, students will do the following: 

  1. Log into Accommodate and submit a request for an Emotional Support Animal- completed by student on Accommodate.  
  2. Submit the Emotional Support Animal Form completed by a health or mental health care provider to DSS (form obtained from DSS) 
  3. Submit to DSS a vet report of good health/vaccination and proof that animal is licensed with the city of College Place (City of College Place Pet Licensing ) (upload on accommodate) 
  4. Once above documents are submitted, make an appointment with DSS to discuss accommodation. 
  5. Student will receive a confirmation email to meet. 
  6. Student will receive notification from DSS if request was approved or denied. DSS may request additional information if the initial Emotional Support Animal Form doesn’t provide the necessary information. 
  7. The student will make an appointment with DSS to review the animal agreement form. 
  8. Student will meet with a Dean to discuss agreement and be informed of animal move-in date. (The process for approving an ESA may take up to 6-8 weeks. Requests for ESAs should be received by DSS by June 1 for the Fall Quarter. Mid-year ESA requests should be received (with all necessary paperwork and appointment scheduled with DSS) at least 6 weeks prior to the start of the new quarter for which a student is requesting an ESA as an accommodation.) 

All steps must be complete prior to the Emotional Support Animal arrival. 

If student brings animal to campus prior to obtaining permission, they will be asked to remove the animal from campus. DSS will always do its best to reasonably accommodate as soon as possible; however, missed deadlines can impact the timing of the when the ESA can be brought to campus. 

Animal Care 

All animals are the responsibility of their owners and should be under their control at all times(responsive to commands, in a harness, leash, or in a carrier).  

  • ESAs and/or Service animals must be housebroken and under the control of their owner at all times(voice or tether). It’s important to note that raising a puppy focused on socialization and general obedience training may not meet the criteria for being housebroken.  
  • ESA should not cause disruptions such as excessive barking, noise, or engage in behavior that poses a threat to the health or safety of the owner and others. This includes growling, biting, clawing, jumping, or displaying any aggressive behavior.  
  • ESA must not be left alone for extended periods of time. It is your responsibility(the owner) to make arrangements for the animal’s care if you’ll be away from overnight.   
  • Proper disposal of waste is essential. All waste from ESAs or Service Animals must be disposed of in designated outside receptacles.  

The student is accountable for the behavior of their animal. Animals are expected to adhere to the same basic standards of conduct as their handlers. If an animal’s behavior is disruptive to university business or community expectations in education, medical, or residential environments, the student may be asked to correct the behavior of the animal or remove the animal from the environment.  

Conflicting disabilities or health issues

It is common for individuals to have an allergic reaction to animals. Individuals making an asthmatic/allergy/medical complaint should do the following: 

  1. Submit a request for accommodation in Accommodate or email dss@wallawalla.edu.

  2. Individuals making a complaint should show medical documentation to support their complaint. 

Actions taken should consider the needs of both individuals and to resolve the problem efficiently as possible. 
If there are any questions regarding documentation, please contact the Assistant Director for Disability Support Services at dss@wallawalla.edu or 509 527-2313.