Service Animal Policy

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, service animals are permitted in University facilities for persons with documented disabilities.

Definition: A service animal is any guide dog, signal dog or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including but not limited to guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing, providing minimal rescue or protection work, pulling a wheelchair or fetching dropped items.

The service the animal is providing must be directly related to the functional limitation of the person’s disability. The person requesting the accommodation of bringing his/her animal to campus may be required to provide up-to-date documentation of the disability along with a description of the criteria used to assess the impact of the disability.

Service animals whose behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others or is disruptive to the campus community may be excluded, regardless of training or certification. Therapy or companion animals are not service animals and are not covered under the ADA.

Requirements of service animals and their partner/handlers:

  1. Training: To work on campus, a service animal must be specifically trained to perform a service function. While not required, evidence of successful completion of a recognized licensing or certification program for service animals, or a letter documenting training is recommended. If available, a copy of the proof of certification should be on file with the Disability Support Services office (for students) or Human Resources office (for faculty/staff).
  2. Identification: It is strongly recommended that the service animal wear a harness, cape, identification tag or other gear that readily identifies its working status.
  3. Control: The partner/handler must be in full control of the service animal at all times. The care and supervision of a service animal is solely the responsibility of its partner/handler.
  4. Leash: The service animal must be on a leash at all times. Exceptions will be made for service animals where a leash is not feasible.
  5. License and Tags: All service animals must meet local, county, and/or state licensing regulations. It is recommended all animals have an owner ID tag.
  6. Health: All animals must comply with local, county, and/or state vaccination and health requirements. Animals to be housed in campus housing must have an annual clean bill of health from a licensed veterinarian, including current vaccinations and immunizations against diseases common to that type of animal.
  7. Clean-up Rule: The partner/handler must (a) always carry equipment sufficient to clean up the animal’s feces whenever the animal and partner/handler are off the partner’s property; (b) never allow the animal to defecate on any property, public or private (except the partner’s own property), unless the partner/handler immediately removes the waste; (c) be responsible for the proper disposal of the animal’s feces and for any damage caused by the waste or its removal. If the partner/handler is physically unable to perform these tasks, the partner/handler must contact the Disability Support Services office to make arrangements for necessary assistance.

Conditions for keeping a service animal:

  1. Disruption: The partner/handler of a service animal that is unruly or disruptive may be asked to remove the animal from college facilities. If the improper behavior happens repeatedly, the partner/handler may be required to take significant steps to mitigate the behavior before bringing the animal into any college facility. Mitigation may include muzzling a barking animal, obtaining refresher training for both the animal and the partner, or other appropriate measures.
    Although the college may exclude a service animal that is out of control or direct threat to the health and safety of others, the individual with a disability who uses the service animal will be given the option of continuing to utilize or participate in college services without having the service animal on the premises.
  2. Ill Health: Service animals that are ill should not be taken into public areas. A partner/handler with an ill animal may be asked to remove the animal from University facilities.

Procedures for relating to service animals and their partner/handlers

In relating to service animals and their partner/handlers, faculty, staff and students should:

  1. Allow a service animal to accompany the partner/handler at all times and everywhere on campus, except where service animals are specifically prohibited due to health, environmental, or safety hazards.
  2. Refrain from petting, feeding, or deliberately startling a service animal.
  3. Immediately report any disruptive behavior of a service animal to Campus Security. No attempt should be made to separate a partner/handler from his or her service animal.
  4. A faculty or staff member may ask the partner/handler to immediately remove the service animal from the area for disruptive behavior. 
  5. Any questions regarding service animals or their partner/handlers should be directed to Disability Support Services (for students) at extension 2366 or Human Resources (for faculty/staff) at extension 2820.
  6. Questions that may be asked of a service animal partner/handler:
    1. Is the animal a service animal that is required because of a disability?
    2. What disability related work or task has the animal been trained to do?
  7. Questions that may not be asked of a service animal partner/handler:
    1. What is the partner/handler's diagnosis or medical reason for having the service animal?
    2. Is the service animal trained or do they have the proper certification?

For further questions and answers please visit the ADA's FAQ page about service animals