A service animal is defined as either a dog or miniature horse that is trained to work or perform a specific task for the benefit of an individual with a disability, which may include a physical, sensory, psychiatric, and/or other intellectual disabilities. Service animals are not required to wear any sort of special collar, vest, harness, or ID card, although they may.
The following expectations are to be upheld by any service animal on campus or removal of the animal may be warranted:
- The animal must be in control of the handler (though not necessarily by use of a leash) at all times. This means that the animal will respond to commands from the handler, will act respectfully and professionally towards humans and other animals.
- The service animal must be housebroken and well groomed.
- The animal can go anywhere that humans are allowed with the exception of situations that may compromise safety or program objectives.
If it is unclear whether the animal is a Service Animal (there is no harness, they are distracted from their owner, or it is acting disruptively) you are allowed to ask the following two questions:
- Is the animal required because of a disability?
- What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?
Beyond the above two questions, if questions remain about the appropriateness of a service animal generally, or in a specific setting, the concerned party should contact the Office of Disability Services immediately but should not ask for the removal of the animal.
The following interactions regarding Service Animals are not permitted:
- Petting or interacting with the animal as if it were a pet. These animals are trained to be focused on their owners, and are considered to be working.
- Asking further questions if it is clear that the animal is a Service Animal
- Asking for any kind of documentation including certification, training or licensing
- Asking to have the animal demonstrate the service
If you have any questions about the presence of a Service Animal on campus, please contact the Office of Disability Services at (414) 288-1645.