Service animals are welcome on the DSU campus and in student housing. However, owners should register with DRC to establish eligibility and for DRC to coordinate with faculty and the Housing and Resident Life department.
DSU recognizes that service or emotional support animals can play an important role in facilitating the independence of individuals with certain types of disabilities. Allowing individuals with disabilities to be accompanied by their appropriately trained and registered service animal on DSU campus and facilities (where animals are typically prohibited) is a reasonable modification of general DSU policies and practices concerning animals on campus. However, the health and safety of all DSU students, faculty, staff as well as the service animal are equally important. Therefore, only service animals that meet the criteria described in the Americans with Disabilities Act and supported by DSU policies will be exempt from the rules that otherwise restrict or prohibit animals on DSU premises.
Service Animal Request Procedure
Students with documented disabilities requiring service or support of an animal should follow the following procedures to request accommodation:
- A person requesting a service animal or emotional support animal must provide DRC with necessary documentation to support the request. This documentation includes, but is not limited to, documentation from a medical doctor or qualified mental health professional identifying the disabilities and establishing the need for a service or emotional support animal.
- DRC will evaluate the likely presence of others with any conflicting disabilities in the immediate vicinity where the animal is proposed to reside.
- DRC will also verify vaccinations and health records of the service or emotional support animal, including all necessary licensing.
- The person requesting the service animal will provide acceptable documentation that the animal has received training appropriate to service need and the requested accommodation. This documentation should come from the trainer or owner and should describe the specific training and the expectations of performance of the animal.
What constitutes a service animal:
Service Animal: A service animal is any animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. These tasks include, but are not limited to: Guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals who are hearing impaired to intruders or sound, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items. A service animal will be allowed in a student housing facility when:
- The DRC determines that the resident needing such accommodation has a qualifying disability.
- The animal has received training consistent with its intended service; and, the proposed service animal poses no allergic or other medical risk to another resident who may reasonably come into contact or unhealthy proximity with it. Disclosure of the need for a service animal prior to its owner becoming a resident will be necessary as a means verifying these qualifications, and assigning rooms/apartments to the resident to avoid such medical risk(s).
Emotional Support Animal: An emotional support animal is an animal prescribed by a qualified medical or mental health professional to play an integral part of a student treatment process. An emotional support animal is not a service animal. Emotional support animal may be allowed in the resident’s quarters as a reasonable accommodation to the resident who is willing to disclose and document his/her disability and provide additional documentation from a qualified professional prescribing or substantiating the need or basis for such an accommodation. Emotional support animal may not be allowed in classrooms and other public facilities on campus.
Pet: A pet is an animal kept for ordinary use and companionship. A pet is not considered a service or emotional support animal, and, therefore, is not covered by this policy. Residents are not permitted to keep pets in their quarters.
Responsibilities of students and residents with service animals are as follows:
Training: Service animals must be properly trained. An owner of a service animal may be asked to provide verification that the animal has been individually trained as a service animal to provide the service needed.
Acceptable verifications are:
- The letter or ID card provided by agency personnel who trained the animal; or
- A statement from the owner that the animal was trained by the owner or another private individual.
Animal in training: This terminology refers animal in the process of being trained. These animals have the same rights as a fully trained animal when accompanied by a trainer and is identified as such.
Care and supervision: Care and supervision of service or emotional support animals are the responsibility of the owner. The owner must maintain control of the animal at all times, consistent with his/her capacity. The owner is also responsible for ensuring the cleanup of the animal’s waste and must toilet the animal in areas designated or consistent with the reasonable capacity of the owner.
Vaccination: In accordance with local ordinances and regulations a service or emotional animal must be immunized against diseases common to that type of animal. Dogs must have current vaccination against rabies. Although not mandated, cats should have the normal shots required for a health animal.
Health: Service or emotional support animals to be housed in the resident’s quarters must have an annual clean bill of health from a licensed veterinarian. Documentation can be a vaccination certificate for the animal, or a veterinarian’s statement regarding the animal’s health.
Licensing: The City of St George requires all dogs four months old or older to be licensed. Dogs must have a rabies vaccination certification in order to be licensed. Licensing tags verify that the shots (rabies, etc.) required by law have been given. Dog licenses expire December 31st of each year, regardless of the date of purchase; consequently, dogs must be licensed on an annual basis.
Leash: If appropriate, the animal must be on a leash, unless the leash would inhibit the animal’s ability to be of service.