Service Animal Policy

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Disability Support Services: Service and Assitance Animals
Southern Illinois University Carbondale

University Housing and Disability Support Services collaborate to provide resources to support individuals with disabilities. University Housing advocates equal opportunities for students with disabilities based on the principles of independent living, accessibility, and diversity.

Any student with a disability who is planning use of a service or an assistance animal in on-campus housing should contact Disability Support Services 618.453.5738.

Service Animals

Service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental 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 individual's disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal's presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.

Individuals with disabilities shall be permitted to be accompanied by their service animals in all areas of the University’s facilities where members of the public, participants in services, programs or activities, or invitees, as relevant, are allowed to go.

University staff may ask an individual with a disability to remove a service animal from the premises if—

  1. The animal is out of control and the animal's handler does not take effective action to control it; or
  2. The animal is not housebroken.
  3. A service animal shall be under the control of its handler. A service animal shall have a harness, leash, or other tether, unless either the handler is unable because of a disability to use a harness, leash, or other tether, or the use of a harness, leash, or other tether would interfere with the service animal's safe, effective performance of work or tasks, in which case the service animal must be otherwise under the handler's control (e.g., voice control, signals, or other effective means).University staff are not responsible for any aspects of caring for a service animal.

University staff will not ask about the nature or extent of a person's disability, but may make two inquiries to determine whether an animal qualifies as a service animal. Staff may ask if the animal is required because of a disability and what work or task the animal has been trained to perform. The University will not require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal. Generally, staff will not make these inquiries about a service animal when it is readily apparent that an animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability (e.g., the dog is observed guiding an individual who is blind or has low vision, pulling a person's wheelchair, or providing assistance with stability or balance to an individual with an observable mobility disability).

Any student with a disability who is planning extended use of a service animal in campus housing should contact Disability Support Services 618.453.5738.

The University will make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures to permit the use of a miniature horse by an individual with a disability if the miniature horse has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of the individual with a disability.

Assistance Animals

An assistance animal is one that is necessary to afford the person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy University Housing, pursuant to the Fair Housing Act. An assistance animal may provide physical assistance, emotional support, calming, stability and other kinds of assistance. Assistance animals do not perform work or tasks that would qualify them as “service animals” under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

University Housing will allow an assistance animal if certain conditions are met. The animal must be necessary for the resident with a disability to have equal access to housing and the accommodation must also be reasonable. An accommodation is unreasonable if it presents an undue financial or administrative burden on University Housing, poses a substantial and direct threat to personal or public safety or constitutes a fundamental alteration of the nature of the service or program.

Disability Support Services will determine reasonable accommodations for students who request to have assistance animals in University Housing. 

University Housing Animal Checklist

First Name: ______________ Last Name: ______________________

Dog Tag: _________________ Contact Phone: ___________________

Animal Name: _____________ Animal Type: ____________________

Animal Breed: _____________ Animal weight (lbs):_______________

General description of the animal: ________________________________________ 

Guidelines for animal care:

  • The animal cannot pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others. Handlers are responsible for any liability that occurs as a result of their animal’s behavior. If the animal deemed to pose a physical threat to others, actions may be taken to remove the animal from University Housing.
  • The handler must effectively control the animal at all times (voice command, leash, or otherwise). If the resident cannot effectively control the animal, the permission to keep that particular animal in University Housing may be rescinded until such time that the problem is rectified.
  • Animals must be housebroken. The resident is responsible for properly disposing of all animal waste. In the event that the handler is physically not able to clean up after the animal, it is the handler’s responsibility to hire someone capable of cleaning up after the animal. Indoor animal waste must be placed in a sturdy bag and tied securely before being disposed of in outside trash dumpsters. Outdoor animal waste, such as dog feces, must be immediately placed in a plastic bag and securely tied before being disposed of in outside trash dumpsters.
  • Routine care for the animal is expected for health and safety reasons. It is required that all licensing, City ordinances and state laws pertaining to the animal will be followed.
  • The animal should not be left alone in the unit for unreasonably long periods of time. The animal cannot be left in the care of other residents while the resident is away.
  • Assistance animals only: The resident understands that when they are not present (i.e. in class) the animal must be contained within the unit where they reside.

Guidelines for interaction with roommates and the community:

  • The resident is responsible for assuring that the animal does not interfere with the orderly operation of the residence or cause difficulties for other residents of the community. Sensitivity to residents with allergies and to those who fear animals is important to ensure a positive residential community.
  • Roommates will be notified about the presence of the animal. The notification will include the type of animal and size. Roommates may request a room change if they have a desire to do so.
  • If the resident requests maintenance for the room, they will be given the opportunity to coordinate with University Housing Maintenance on a time that will work with their schedule to be present for the maintenance.
  • Assistance animals are not permitted in any area other than the student’s on-campus residence.

Additional Agreements:

  • The resident is financially responsible for the actions of the animal including bodily injury and any property damage. The resident will be responsible for covering all costs of returning the unit to the same condition of move-in that are not due to normal wear and tear. This may include the cost of cleaning all carpets and furniture to remove pet odors, dander, hair, etc.
  • University Housing will inspect the residential unit on a regular basis as part of routine health and safety checks of all residential space as outlined in the Guidebook. If fleas, ticks, or other pests are detected through inspection, the unit will be treated by university-approved pest control services. Those costs will be billed to the resident’s account.

I have read and agree to all of the terms of the University Housing Animal Checklist. I understand that if I have questions, concerns, or need assistance that I will contact University Housing.

________________________ _____________________

Student Signature Date

 _______________________ _____________________

Operations Staff Member Signature Date