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Service Animal Policy
According to 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, and alerting individuals who are hearing impaired to intruders, or pulling a wheelchair and fetching dropped items". Service animals must 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 Section 504 Compliance Officer/ADA Coordinator in consultation with the Office of Services to Students with Disabilities (SSD).
In compliance with the ADA, service animals are welcome in all buildings on campus and may attend any class, meeting, or other event. Disabled students desiring to use a service animal on campus should first contact SSD to register as a student with a disability. The Director of SSD (or designee) will evaluate the disability and recommend any additional accommodations appropriate to the functional limitations of the disability.
Faculty or staff desiring the use of a service animal on campus should contact the Office of Human Resources. The Director (or designee) of Human Resources, in consultation with the Director (or designee) of SSD, will evaluate the disability and make any appropriate recommendations.
1. Dogs must be licensed in accordance with county regulations and wear a vaccination tag.
2. Other types of animals (monkeys, snakes, miniature donkeys, etc.) must have vaccinations appropriate for that type of animal.
3. Animals must be in good health. Animals to be housed in university housing must have an annual clean bill of health from a licensed veterinarian.
4. Animals must be on a leash at all times.
5. The owner must be in full control of the animal at all times.
6. The owner should provide SSD information as to how the animal accommodates for their disability.
Reasonable behavior is expected from service animals while on campus. 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 university 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. This mitigation may include muzzling a barking dog, or refresher training for the animal and its owner.
Cleanliness of the service animal is mandatory. Daily grooming and occasional baths (at a vet or a family home) should keep dog odor to a minimum. Flea control is essential and adequate preventative measures should be taken. If a flea problem develops, it should be dealt with immediately and in an effective manner.
Consideration of others must be taken into account when providing maintenance and hygiene of service animals.
Any questions regarding this policy may be directed to either the SSD Office SADM 140 (661) 654-3360, or to the Section 504 Compliance Officer/ADA Coordinator, Claudia Catota, J.D.,(Assistant to the President for Equity, Inclusion and Compliance). Ms. Catota may be reached at (661) 654-2137, and her office is located in the President's Office, BDC E100.