According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a service animal is defined as "any dog individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability."
Some Reasons to Have a Service Animal
- guiding individuals with vision impairments
- alerting people with hearing impairments to sounds in their environment
- pulling a wheelchair or picking up dropped items for persons who have mobility impairments
Requirements of Service Animals and Their Owners
- animals must be licensed and vaccinated in accordance with county or city regulations
- tags must be worn by the animal if regulations require this
- animals must be in good health
- animals must be on a leash at all times
- owner must be in full control of the animal at all times
- owner must be able to describe fully the service the animal provides because of a disability
Qualified Service Animals
The service animal must be trained to actively perform specific tasks that the person with a disability is unable to do for himself. A service animal is not a pet. If there is any uncertainty about whether an animal qualifies as a service animal, a determination will be made by the director of Disabilities Support Services and the Student Judicial Officer in consultation with each other.
Permitted Areas for Service Animals
Service animals are permitted in all buildings on campus and may attend any class, meeting, or other event both on and off campus that is college-related, such as an internship, a field trip, or volunteer service. There may be situations where the environment could be a potential health hazard for the service animal. The owner and instructor will discuss the potential problem, with consultation from other professionals as needed, so that a reasonable course of action can be implemented.
Students may want to discuss any additional accommodations that are needed as a result of a disability with a Disabilities Support Services staff member.
Expected Service Animal Behavior and Owner Responsibilities
Reasonable behavior is expected from service animals while on campus. If an animal exhibits unacceptable behavior, the owner is expected to employ the proper training techniques to correct the situation. The owner of an aggressive or disruptive service animal may be asked to remove the animal from campus. If the improper behavior happens repeatedly, the owner may be required to take significant steps to mitigate the behavior before the animal is allowed back on campus. The mitigation may include muzzling or refresher training for the animal and its owner.
Cleanliness of the service animal is mandatory. Daily grooming and occasional baths should keep animal odor to a minimum. Flea control is essential and adequate preventative measures should be taken. If a flea problem develops, it must be dealt with immediately and in an effective manner.
Consideration of others must be taken into account when providing maintenance and hygiene of service animals. Owners are responsible for cleaning up any animal waste and properly disposing of it in outdoor trash receptacles.