FAQ's: Service, Emotional Support, and/or Assistance Animal-Related Questions

Question:

I have a service animal (a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities) and am planning on living on campus.  Is there anything special I need to do?
You will need to contact the Department of Housing to fill out some paperwork and to get their guidelines for maintaining a service animal within the residential community.  While not required, you may wish to register with the Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC).  There may be accommodations and services that you are eligible to use and registering with SDRC early will help to ensure that these services and accommodations can be made in a timely manner.

 


Question:

I have an assistance or emotional support animal and want to bring it to live with me on campus.  What do I need to do?
You should first contact the Student Disability Resource Center.  Assistance or Emotional Support Animals do not qualify as service animals under the ADA, but they may be permitted as a reasonable accommodation ("necessary assistance animals") for persons with disabilities.  A written request for an exception to the pet policy (request for disability-related accommodation animal) should be submitted to SDRC.  The request should include:

  • A letter dated within the past year from the student's treating physician or mental health professional verifying the resident has a disability (if the resident is not already registered with the SDRC).
    • How the animal serves as an accommodation for the verified disability
    • How the need for the animal relates to the ability of the resident/student to use and enjoy the living arrangements provided by the University.
  • A letter that explains the need for the animal, identifies the type of animal, describes the animal, and provides the animal's name, if the animal has one.

While you are communicating with the SDRC, it is also a good idea to communicate with the Department of Housing to let them know you are taking steps to request an exception to their pet policy.  The SDRC will review your request for completeness and work with you to obtain any necessary additional materials.  SDRC will make a decision based on the documentation provided and provide a written recommendation to Housing.  Housing will notify you by email of the decision to accept or decline the request for exception. 

 

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