Service Animals

Service Animals

A person with a disability who utilizes a service animal is encouraged to register with the DRC. Registering with the DRC provides an opportunity to discuss additional accommodations, beyond the service animal.

The cost of care, food, arrangements, supervision and responsibilities for the well-being of a service animal are the sole responsibility of the owner at all times.

Service animals on campus must: 

  • Meet all requirements for the presence of animals in public places (vaccinations, licensure, ID tags, etc.) mandated by State or Local ordinances. 
  • Be in good health. Animals to be housed in University Housing must have an annual clean bill of health from a licensed veterinarian. 
  • Be under control. The person with a disability must be in full control of the animal at all times.  This may include the use of a harness, leash or tether, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. Reasonable behavior is expected from service animals while on campus. If a service dog, for example, exhibits unacceptable behavior, the handler is expected to employ the proper training techniques to correct the situation, which may include voice, signal, or other effective controls. 
  • Not cause damage to the campus. A person who has a service animal on campus (including University Housing) is financially responsible for property damage caused by his or her service animal. 
  • Defecate in appropriate places. Individuals using services animals must clean up after the animal defecates, must take their service animals to the marked toileting areas for service animals, when provided, and must also clean up the waste and immediately place the waste in the appropriate trash receptacle. 
  • Not cause undue financial burdens upon the University. All functions of service animal use, including service animal training or re-training, independent travel, animal food purchasing and maintenance, grooming, veterinarian care, and hygiene work is considered a personal aid or service and is the full responsibility of the individual with the disability. 

Service Animals in University Housing 

The DRC will work with University Housing and the resident with the service animal to ensure appropriate accessible housing is provided. The student must make the request for housing accommodations. Service animals must always be kept under control and on a leash/lead, except in the resident’s own room with the door shut. 

  • Disturbing vocalizations or noises from the animal must be kept to a minimum. 
  • When the service animal needs to be “walked”, they must be taken to a specific area designated by the Residence Hall Director or designated staff member. The droppings must be picked up and deposited in a trash can provided specifically for that purpose in the area. 
  • Service animals may not be bathed in the shower rooms, bathtubs, or sinks of the residence halls; food dishes must be cleaned only in the large sinks located for resident use on each floor; and service animal food must be kept in a covered storage container.
  • In dining centers, service animals must: 
    • Remain quietly by the student’s chair or under the table out of the way of other visitors. 
    • Not disturb others at the table, in any way, including other service animals. 
    • Keep their noses and all body parts, off tables, trays, and food-servicing counters at all times. 
    • Service animals will not be allowed in food preparation areas.

Removal of Service Animals  

The handler of a service animal that is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it or is not housebroken may be asked to remove the animal from University facilities. 

If the improper behavior happens repeatedly, the handler may be told not to bring the animal into any University facility until the handler takes significant steps to mitigate the behavior. Mitigation can include muzzling or refresher training for both the animal and the handler.  If a service animal is removed from University facilities, the individual with a disability must still be provided the opportunity to participate in the service, program or activity without having the service animal on the premises.

Service animals that are ill should not be taken into public areas. A handler with an ill animal may be asked to leave University facilities. 

Handlers with animals that are unclean or noisome may be asked to leave University facilities. An animal that becomes wet from walking in the rain or mud or from being splashed on by a passing automobile, but is otherwise clean, should be considered a clean animal. If the animal in question is usually well-groomed, the University may consider the animal that appears messy due to environmental conditions (rain, snow, sleet, mud, etc.) well-groomed until the handler is able to then groom the animal appropriately (give it a bath, brushing, towel dry, etc.).

Grievances and/or Complaints

An individual with a disability dissatisfied with a decision made concerning his or her assistance animal should follow the applicable institutional Appeal/Grievance Procedure.  Other individuals who have complaints regarding the use of service or assistance animals in University Housing should direct those to Housing & Dining staff.