Memorandum 45 – Pets, Service Animals, and Assistance Animals

Revised Policy Approved July 2016

Purpose

This policy endeavors to enhance the safety and comfort of faculty, staff, students and visitors while, at the same time, reducing the possibility of disruptions/distractions in living, learning, and working environments. It is designed, as well, to reduce the University’s liability. It also reinforces the University’s commitment to compliance with state and federal laws regarding individuals with disabilities.

Policy

PETS: No domestic animals are allowed in University buildings, on Sabine Field or other athletic fields as posted. Exceptions include service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); those used in research and teaching; and animals performing official law enforcement functions. Any domestic animals on University grounds must be in the control of their owners in accord with the ordinances of the town of Northfield. Under no circumstances should animals be allowed to run loose or be tied to buildings, handrails, trees, bicycle racks, or other objects. Pet owners are responsible for cleaning up any messes made by their pet and will be responsible for any damages incurred by their animals to University grounds or facilities.

SERVICE ANIMALS: Service animals as defined by the ADA are not pets, and are therefore not covered by the prohibition of all pets from University buildings. Service animals are any dog (or miniature horse) that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Individuals with disabilities shall be permitted to be accompanied by their service animals in all places of public accommodation on campus.

Students with disabilities who seek the reasonable accommodation of a service animal as defined by the ADA should contact the Academic Achievement Center, and follow the provisions for determining eligibility for appropriate academic accommodations as specified in the NU Catalog’s Academic Policy entitled “Americans with Disabilities Act”: http://catalog.norwich.edu/residentialprogramscatalog/academicregulations/rehabact/.

Employees with disabilities who seek the reasonable accommodation of a service animal as defined by the ADA should contact the Office of Human Resources, and follow the provisions for determining eligibility for appropriate workplace accommodations as specified in Norwich’s “Employee Disability Accommodation in the Workplace” policy: http://www.norwich.edu/about/policy/disability/index.html.

Visitors to campus with disabilities accompanied by a service animal shall be permitted to be accompanied by their service animals in all places of public accommodation on campus. As specified by the ADA, University staff may ask only two questions of an individual accompanied by a service animal when it is not obvious what service an animal provides: 1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and 2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform.

ASSISTANCE ANIMALS: Assistance Animals are emotional support animals other than trained service animals that alleviate one or more symptoms or effects of a person’s disability. They are explicitly not covered by the provisions of the ADA, and the University is not required to allow their presence in the public spaces of the University. However, assistance animals have been deemed a reasonable accommodation under the provisions of the Fair Housing Act in the private space of campus housing on a case by case basis. Students seeking this accommodation or a release from University residential policies to permit residing in an off-campus dwelling with an assistance animal, must get permission from the Academic Achievement Center, Dean of Students’ Office, and Residential Life Director. All appeals of a negative determination must be submitted to the Director of Human Resources as established in the NU Catalog’s Academic Policy entitled “American’s with Disabilities Act.”

Responsibility

The Office of Human Resources will determine employee eligibility for a service animal as a reasonable employment accommodation under the ADA. The Academic Achievement Center will determine student eligibility for a service animal as a reasonable academic accommodation under the ADA. The Academic Achievement Center, Dean of Students’ Office, and Residential Life Director will determine student eligibility for an assistance animal as a reasonable accommodation under the Fair Housing Act. All University employees are responsible for assuring fulfillment of this policy, particularly as it pertains both to prohibiting pets from University buildings and to permitting individuals with disability accompanied by a service animal to access the public spaces and accommodations of the university.

Implementation/Guidelines

University employees and students will not bring pets into University buildings. Violations of this policy are to be reported to the appropriate supervisor or Human Resources. Continued violations will result in disciplinary action against the offending employee or student.

Contact Offices

  • Office of Human Resources: Ext. 2075
  • Academic Achievement Center: Ext. 2130
  • Residence Life Office: Ext. 2660
  • Dean of Students Office: Ext. 2640

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