Service Animals

Definition of a Service Animal

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires that places of public accommodation, including colleges and universities, accommodate individuals with disabilities who use service animals. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division has defined “service animal” as follows:

“A service animal is any dog that is individually trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler’s disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.”

Requirements for Service Animals and Their Handlers

The student will verify that a service animal is required because of a disability and that the dog has been trained to perform specific disability related tasks.

Residential Students

  • The Director of Residence Life will make on campus housing assignments in consultation with the student and the Director of Accessibility & Disability Services.
  • The service animal must be in good health as verified annually by a licensed veterinarian.
  • A roommate must be found who will consent to living with the animal.

**Unruly or disruptive behavior that interferes with the educational environment or housing community may result in limited use of the animal.