Animal Policy

Animal Policy

Service animals are welcome on the DSU campus and in student housing. However, owners are encouraged to notify the Disability Resource Center (DRC) to coordinate with faculty and Housing and Resident Life department.

DSU recognizes that service or assistance 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 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.

ASSISTANCE ANIMAL ACCOMMODATION PROCEDURE AND GUIDELINS

Dixie State University will grant reasonable accommodation requests to persons with disabilities consistent with University policy and all relevant statutes including the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act. A person with a disability is one who: (a) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person’s major life activities; or (b) has a record of having such an impairment; or (c) is regarded as having such an impairment.

Dixie State University will review and respond promptly to all reasonable accommodation requests. Dixie State University may deny the requested accommodation if providing it would impose an undue financial and administrative burden or if the University finds no nexus between the disability and requested accommodation.

All information received by Dixie State University regarding an individual’s disability, including physical, mental, psychological, and/or psychiatric conditions, and disability-related needs for a requested accommodation shall be kept confidential unless the individual authorizes the release of the information to a third party or Dixie State University is required to produce the information in response to subpoena or court order.

If a resident of Dixie State University housing has a disability and a disability-related need for a reasonable accommodation under federal, state, or local law, Dixie State University will grant such accommodation including a request to keep an Assistance Animal. If the relationship between the individual’s disability and the need for the requested accommodation has not been provided, Dixie State University has the right to deny the request. The University may also require additional documentation to establish the nexus for an Assistance Animal if it wasn’t originally provided by the student. Dixie State University will not retaliate against any person because that individual has requested or received a reasonable accommodation. Dixie State University will not discourage any individual from making a reasonable accommodation request, including a request to keep an Assistance Animal.

While it is policy to not allow any pets at Dixie State University, Assistance Animals are not pets and will be allowed with approval. An applicant with a disability must make a request for reasonable accommodation in order to keep the Assistance Animal in campus housing.

Approved Assistance Animals must be contained in the owner’s assigned living accommodations except to the extent the owner is taking the animal outside for routine exercise and elimination. Assistance Animals are not allowed in any other campus facilities not otherwise open to animals including residential facility, common areas, and classrooms. The Assistance Animal must be properly restrained at all times and not permitted to run loose. The Assistance Animal must be well cared for at all times including provided with necessary food, water, and veterinary care. Any evidence of mistreatment, abuse, neglect, or leaving the animal alone for unreasonably long periods of time may result in immediate removal of the animal and/or discipline for the owner.

Like any other resident, owners of Assistance Animals remain subject to the provisions of their leasing agreements. Owners must stay in compliance with all state and local animal laws including licensure and vaccination regulations. It is the owner’s responsibility to know and abide by these rules. The owner must clean up after the Assistance Animal including the removal or the animal’s waste in a safe and sanitary manner. Dixie State University may take action against the owner for damages caused by the Assistance Animal to the same extent that it takes against any residents who have caused similar damage.

The University may require the owner to remove the Assistance Animal from University housing if the animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others or causes substantial property damage. The animal may also be removed if the owner does not comply with the obligations set forth above including appropriate care for the animal. Dixie State University will base such individualized determinations upon consideration of the behavior of the particular Assistance Animal and resident on a case-by-case basis, and in consultation with the Disability Resource Center, Housing and Resident Life, the applicant, the applicant’s spouse/parent (if the applicant is not the student), and other parties as appropriate. Dixie State University will not base this determination on speculation or fear about the harm or damages an Assistance Animal may cause. Any removal of the Assistance Animal may be appealed pursuant to the Student Housing grievance procedure. Should the Assistance Animal be removed from the premises for any reason, the owner is expected to fulfill the remainder of the housing contract.

PROCEDURE

A student or the spouse or child of a married student living in student housing may seek the accommodation of having an Assistance Animal by completing the process detailed below. We will make a prompt decision on your request, If the request is of a time-sensitive nature, please let us know and we will expedite the decision-making process. In the event we need additional information to make a determination, we will promptly advise you of the information needed. An Assistance Animal will not be allowed in the student’s housing until the accommodation is approved. It is Dixie State Universities’ policy to seek only the information needed to determine if the request should be granted under federal, state, or local law. We will not ask about the nature or extent of your disabilities. If the request is granted, you will receive a letter indicating so.

The steps for a STUDENT seeking an Assistance Animal are as follows:

  1. The applicant shall obtain documentation from a health or social service professional such as a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist attesting to the applicant’s disability. This document should verify that the applicant has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities and has need for an Assistance Animal.
    1. If the applicant does not have disability documentation, they may schedule an appointment with a psychologist at the Health & Counseling Center. Such an assessment will cost $300 and be completed over a two week period. The assessment will consist of psychological assessments, therapy, and a clinical interview. There is no guarantee that a disability finding will be made and subsequent documentation provided.
  2. The applicant shall fill out the Application for Reasonable Accommodation for an Assistance Animal in Campus Housing. These forms are available at the Housing and Resident Life Office, the Disability Resource Center, and on line at. https://drcenter.dixie.edu/service-animal-policy/. The forms should be returned to the Disability Resource Center. The request may also be made verbally with the Disability Resource Center.
  3. The Disability Resource Center will decide whether the requested Assistance Animal accommodation is reasonable.
  4. If the Assistance Animal request is approved, the applicant will be notified promptly. If the request is not approved, the applicant will be provided with documentation of the reasons for denial. If the requested accommodations are found to impose an undue financial and administrative burden, the Disability Resource Center will attempt to schedule a meeting with the applicant to discuss possible alternative accommodations. Dixie State University is committed to participating in an interactive process with the person requesting the accommodation in order to reach an alternative.
  5. The applicant must then schedule an appointment with the Director of Housing and Resident Life to discuss the accommodation.
    1. The Director and applicant will discuss various expectations to keep the animal and other residents safe and to keep the residential living community free from disruption.
  6. The applicant shall inform the Disability Resource Center and the Director of Housing and Resident Life in the event that he or she no longer has a disability necessitating an Assistance Animal.

The steps for a SPOUSE OR CHILD OF A STUDENT living in married student housing seeking an Assistance Animal are as follows:

  1. The applicant shall obtain documentation from a health or social service professional such as a psychiatrist or clinical social worker attesting to the applicant’s disability. This document should verify that the applicant has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities and has need for an Assistance Animal.
    1. If the applicant does not have disability documentation, they may schedule an appointment with a psychologist at the Health & Counseling Center. Such an assessment will cost $300 and be completed over a two-week period. The assessment will consist of psychological assessments, therapy, and a clinical interview. There is no guarantee that a disability finding will be made and subsequent documentation provided.

    The applicant shall fill out the Application for Reasonable Accommodation for an Assistance Animal in Campus Housing. These forms are available at and may be returned to the Disability Resource Center. The request may also be made verbally with the Disability Resource Center.

  2. The Disability Resource Center will decide whether the requested Assistance Animal accommodation is reasonable.
  3. If the Assistance Animal request is approved, the applicant will be notified promptly. If the request is not approved, the applicant will be provided with documentation of the reasons for denial. If the requested accommodations are found to impose an undue financial and administrative burden, the Disability Resource Center will attempt to schedule a meeting with the applicant to discuss possible alternative accommodations. Dixie State University is committed to participating in an interactive process with the person requesting the accommodation in order to reach an alternative.
  4. The applicant must then schedule an appointment with the Director of Housing and Resident Life to discuss the accommodation.
    1. The Director, the applicant, and the applicant’s spouse/child will discuss various expectations to keep the animal and other residents safe and to keep the residential living community free from disruption.
  5. The student must notify the Disability Resource Center and Director of Housing and Resident Life if someone vacates the dwelling or no longer has a disability-related need necessitating an Assistance Animal.
    1. If the applicant has moved out indefinitely, the Assistance Animal will not be permitted to continue living in campus housing.
    2. If the applicant wishes to move back in with the Assistance Animal, another request must be made.
  6. The applicant must notify the Director of Housing and Resident Life in the event that he or she no longer has a disability necessitating an Assistance Animal.

Definitions

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:

  1. The DRC determines that the resident needing such accommodation has a qualifying disability.
  2. 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. An 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

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:

  1. The letter or ID card provided by agency personnel who trained the animal; or
  2. 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.