Under the ADA, Service Animals are defined as, dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service Animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as Service Animals under the ADA (2010 Revised Regulations of the ADA; DOJ, 2011).”
Service Animal Handler Responsibilities
- Service Animals can accompany their handlers (“handler” refers to any person with a disability whom a Service Animal) across various settings on the College campus including, but not limited to, residence halls, classrooms, the cafeteria, the Student Center, the REC, and the LRC. Under the ADA, the College must allow “Service Animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of the facility where the public is normally allowed to go.” Exceptions might include areas in which the Service Animal may be in danger, or where their use may compromise the integrity of research or cause health concerns.
- The handler of a Service Animal shall comply with all laws, local licensure and vaccination requirements, and College regulations. All vaccination records must be on record with Disability Services.
- The care and supervision of the Service Animal is the responsibility of the handler. Under the ADA, Service Animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the work of the Service Animal or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the handler must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls. Care also includes maintaining the well‐being of the animal (feeding, administering flea/tick/heartworm medications, etc.).
- The handler shall dispose of the animal’s waste in a safe and sanitary manner.
- The handler may be charged for any damage caused by his or her Service Animal beyond reasonable wear and tear to the same extent that other students are charged for damages beyond reasonable wear and tear. This includes any pest infestation (such as Fleas or Ticks) beyond what is considered typical for that dorm or residence.
- The handler cannot be asked to remove his/her Service Animal from the campus unless:
- the dog is out of control (e.g. barking incessantly, wandering, displaying aggressive behavior) and the handler does not take effective action to control it,
- the dog is not housebroken, or
- the dog poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others that cannot be eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level by a reasonable modification to other policies, practices and procedures.
When there is legitimate reason to ask that a Service Animal be removed, the staff must offer the handler the opportunity to obtain goods or services without the animal’s presence.
Service animals on campus must be under the control of their handlers at all times. They cannot be left in the care of another person or overnight in the residence hall without the presence of their handler.