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Service and Companion Animal Guidelines

Service Dog Guidelines
Companion Animal Guidelines

Service Animal Guidelines

The following information is provided to help define the role and the place of animals relative to facilities, employment, and residence halls at the University of Arizona in promoting disability access.

Under UHAP Policy 2.24 and Classified Staff Policy #421.0, with the exception of service animals used to guide or assist persons with disabilities, animals may be brought to University facilities only with prior permission from the relevant department head and only for official purposes.

Disabled individuals may be accompanied by their service animals on all University of Arizona campuses where members of the public or participants in services, programs or activities are allowed to go. A service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of individuals with physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental conditions. If a dog meets this definition, it is considered a service dog regardless of whether it has been licensed or certified by a state or local government or a training program.

Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals.

The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual's impairment. Examples of such tasks include, but are not limited to:

  • Assisting an individual with low vision with navigation
  • Alerting individuals who are hard of hearing to the presence of people or objects
  • Retrieving items
  • Providing assistance with stability or balance to an individual with a mobility impairment

Federal law does not require the individual to provide documentation that an animal has been trained as a service animal. The University may, however, ask if the animal is required because of impairment, as well as what work or task the animal has been trained to perform.

Exclusions of service dogs are determined on an individualized basis and when one of the following conditions exist:

  • The dog is disruptive and not effectively controlled.
  • The presence of the service dog would fundamentally change the nature of the job, service, or activity.
  • The service dog's presence, behavior, or actions pose an unreasonable or direct threat to property and/or the health or safety of others.
  • The dog is not housebroken.

When circumstances arise which would justify evaluating the presence of a service dog, Disability Resources will employ the following criteria:

  • The student/employee using the service dog is disabled
  • The dog is a service dog
  • The dog is trained to perform certain tasks related to the individuals' impairment

The University is not responsible for the care or supervision of a service dog.  Individuals are responsible for:

  • The well-being of a service dog as well as the cost of any damages as a result of the service dog
  • The immediate clean-up and proper disposal of all animal waste
  • The control of the animal at all times. Reasonable behavior is expected from service dogs. If a service dog, for example, exhibits unacceptable behavior, the individual is expected to employ the proper training techniques to correct the situation.
  • Harnessing, leashing, or tethering the service dog, unless an individual’s disability precludes the use of a restraint or if the restraint would interfere with the service animal's safe, effective performance of work or tasks. 
  • Following all requirements for the presence of animals in public places mandated by State or local ordinances (vaccination, license, animal health, leash)

Companion Animals in University Housing and Employment

Federal law allows individuals with disabilities the presence of a broader range of animals (companion animals) in University housing and work sites as compared with the campus as a whole. By law, a companion animal means any service animal, as defined above, as well as an animal needed for emotional support. An individual may keep a companion animal as an accommodation in University housing or work sites if:

  1. The individual is disabled.
  2. The animal is necessary to afford the individual an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling or perform the necessary duties of a job.
  3. There is an identifiable relationship between the impairment and the assistance the animal provides.

Disability Resources will, in partnership with Residence Life, determine, on a case by case basis, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, whether the animal is a reasonable accommodation in University housing or work sites.

The University may exclude a companion animal from University housing or the work site if the animal is:

  • Not housebroken,
  • Would cause substantial damage to the property of others,
  • Would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others,
  • Would fundamentally alter the nature of a program or activity,
  • Is not being cared for by the individual.

The University is not responsible for the care or supervision of companion animals. Individuals are responsible for the control of their companion animals at all times and for ensuring the immediate clean-up and proper disposal of all animal waste. Individuals must comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including vaccination, licensure, animal health and leash laws.