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Under the ADA, a service animal is defined as a dog trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the disability of the person who needs the service animal’s assistance. The crime deterrent effects of an animal’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, and companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of defining a service animal. A service animal is a working animal, not a pet. 

Where Service Animals are Allowed

Service animals are welcome in all buildings on campus and may attend any class, meeting, or other event where other animals would typically not be permitted. The service animal must be trained in the work or tasks directly related to the disability of the person who needs the service animal’s assistance. 

Students are not required to submit an accommodation request to bring a service animal into a university building, with the exception of campus housing. Students residing in campus housing must submit a request through the Disability Services Application prior to move in. Students are highly encouraged to inform Disability Services of the use of a service animal on campus to proactively address any logistical concerns with the animal’s presence in classroom and laboratory environments.


When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, the handler may be asked the following questions.

  • Is the dog a service animal required for a disability; and
  • What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?

Staff may not ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require certification of the dog’s training, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.


The service dog handler is responsible for the care and supervision of the animal and must have full control of the animal at all times. 

  • Animals must comply with any and all city and state laws including, but not limited to, animal license requirements, vaccination, and identification tags.
  • The handler is liable for damages caused by the service animal.
  • The handler is responsible for the care and supervision of the service animal, including regular feeding and exercise, grooming, flea control and health needs.
  • Animals may not run at large; a leash or harness is required unless the handler is unable because of disability to use a leash or harness or it restricts the animal’s ability to function properly.
  • Disturbing animal vocalization must be kept to an absolute minimum.
  • Handlers are responsible for relieving animals in designated locations and must ensure immediate clean-up and proper disposal of animal waste.

Policy and Resources