Are service dogs allowed on campus and in classrooms?
Yes. Service dogs are allowed on campus and in classrooms. When it is not obvious what service the dog provides, college officials may ask only two questions:
- Is the service dog required because of a disability?
- What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
Students are recommended to meet with Disability Resources Department (DRD) to receive information about the use of a Service dog on campus but this is not required under the new law at this time.
May a student be asked about the nature of their disability?
No. It is illegal to ask a person to disclose what their disability is or the reason they have a service dog.
Are animals other than dogs recognized as service animals?
No. Under the law only dogs (or in some instances, miniature horses) are recognized as service animals.
What is considered work or tasks that the dog performs?
The work or tasks performed by a service dog must be directly related to the disability. Examples of such work include:
- Guiding people who are blind
- Alerting people who are deaf
- Reminding a person to take prescribed medication
- Alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure
- Pulling a wheelchair
- Alerting a person when blood glucose levels are low
The work or task must be active not passive. 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. Such animals are deemed ‘Therapy Dogs’ and require an Authorized Academic Accommodation from DRD. Please refer the student to Disability Resources for further guidance.
What if another student or instructor is allergic or afraid of dogs?
Allergies and fear of dogs are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people using service animals. It may be possible to accommodate by requesting students use different locations within the classroom or take a different section of the course.
Can the service dog be removed from the classroom?
A person with a disability cannot be asked to remove his service animal from the premises unless:
- the dog is behaving in a disruptive manner by barking, growling, whimpering, running around, or soliciting social attention through behavior or animal clothing uncharacteristic of a service animal; or
- the dog is not housebroken or clean; or
- the presence of the dog poses a direct threat to the health or safety of other persons that cannot be eliminated by a modification of policies, practices or procedures, or by the provision of auxiliary aids or services.
If any of the above 3 concerns exist, the service dog (not the student) may be removed from class. The student should be referred to DRD for further guidance. Faculty may contact DRD directly if support is needed.
The student is responsible for:
Having a current dog license, keeping the dog clean and pest free; in a harness or on a leash unless either the student is unable because of a disability to use a harness or leash, or the use of a harness or leash would interfere with the service animal’s performance of work or tasks; and any harm or injury caused by the animal to other students, staff, visitors, and/or property.