DRC Service Animal Policy
According to federal disability laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a service animal is defined as "any animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals to an impending seizure or protecting individuals during one, alerting individuals who are hearing impaired to intruders, or pulling a wheelchair and fetching dropped items." Service animals will be permitted to accompany a person with a disability everywhere on campus or off campus as the activity (e.g. internship, field work, etc.) pertains to the curriculum. If there are any questions as to whether an animal qualifies as a service animal, a determination will be made by the Disability Resource Center (DRC) staff.
In compliance with the ADA, service animals are welcome in all buildings on campus and may attend any class, meeting or other co-curricular event. Students with disabilities desiring to use a service animal on campus should first contact the DRC to register as a student with a disability. A DRC intake staff member will evaluate the disability and recommend any additional accommodations appropriate to the functional limitations of the disability based on the documentation received.
Requirements of service animals and their owners include:
- Dogs must be licensed in accordance with county regulations and wear a vaccination tag. Other types of animals (monkeys, snakes, miniature donkeys, etc.) must have vaccinations appropriate for that type of animal.
- Animals must be in good health and the owner should present proof to the DRC of an annual clean bill of health from a licensed veterinarian.
- Animals must be on a leash at all times.
- The owner must be in full control of the animal at all times.
- The owner will provide the DRC a completed Registration of a Service Animal Form that shows how the animal accommodates for their disability, the direct link to the disability, that a substantial limitation to a major life activity exists which the service animal is helping to equalize, and that the service animal allows the student to have equal access to the college's activities, programs and services.
Reasonable behavior is expected from service animals while at the college. If a service dog, for example, exhibits unacceptable behavior, the owner is expected to employ the proper training techniques to correct the situation.
The owners of disruptive and aggressive service animals may be asked to remove them from the college's facilities. If the improper behavior happens repeatedly, the owner may be told not to bring the service animal into any facility until they take significant steps to mitigate the behavior, such as muzzling a barking dog, or refresher training for the animal and its owner. Proof of these mitigating efforts will be provided to the DRC before the animal will be allowed back on campus.
Cleanliness of the service animal is mandatory. Consideration of others must be taken into account when providing maintenance and hygiene of a service animal. For instance, daily grooming and occasional baths should keep dog odor to a minimum and adequate preventative measures should be taken for flea control. If another student or instructor in a classroom has an allergy to a service animal, the DRC should be notified immediately to resolve the situation.