By Roxanne McCourtney
Learning Specialist and Professor
Three sets of rules, three categories of animals, how to sort it all out? To be sure, we are dealing with three different circumstances when we look at animals on campus: service dogs, emotional support animals (ESA), and pets. Service dogs are individually trained to perform specific tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability; ESA are animals that provide emotional or other support that ameliorates identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability; a pet is any animal kept for ordinary use and companionship. Service dogs and ESA are not pets.
|Service Animal||Emotional Support Animal (ESA)||Pet|
|Governed under Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)||Governed under Federal Housing Act (FHA)||Governed under PSC policies and procedures.|
|Individually trained to do work or perform specific tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability||Evidence of the connection between the diagnosis/symptoms and the use of the ESA. Analysis includes whether the animal does a specific thing.||Any animal kept for ordinary use and companionship.|
|If the disability is not obvious, you can only ask two questions:
1) Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
(2) What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
|The individual qualifies as a person with a disability (i.e., has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities).
The ESA is necessary to afford the individual with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy residential living.
|Student is not required to show any documentation.||Student must apply and submit documentation as for any other accommodation for a disability. Evidence is required:
—how the animal provides access that the student would not have if without it.
—onus of proof is on the student. Just wanting the animal because they feel more comfortable is not the same as needing the animal.
|Service animals are allowed anywhere on campus under control of person served.||Applies only to residence halls.|
|Must be registered with Campus Safety.||Must be registered with Campus Safety.||Must be registered with Campus Safety.|