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Service and Companion Animal Guidelines


Service Animals at the University

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.  In addition, disabled individuals and trainers may take service animals in training to public places on campus for training purposes.  A service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for individuals with disabilities. Other species of animals are not service animals, however, miniature horses are permitted where reasonable and the service dog provisions below apply to miniature horses as well. 

Examples of tasks performed by service dogs 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
  • Detecting a seizure
  • Calming someone with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or anxiety disability

If a dog is not trained to do work or perform tasks, and only provides comfort or emotional support, the dog is not a service dog and may be excluded from public areas.

To respect the rights and privacy of disabled individuals, the Department of Justice only permits the University to ask if a dog is required because of a disability, as well as what work or task the dog has been trained to perform. Individuals do not have to provide documentation of their disabilities, proof that service dogs have been trained, or place special vests on their service dogs.

Service dogs may be excluded from campus under the following circumstances:

  • 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.

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 dog at all times.
  • 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 dog'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)

Service and Companion Animals in University Housing and Employment

Disabled individuals may utilize a broader range of animals, commonly referred to as companion animals, in University housing and work sites, in accordance with federal law. 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 disability and the assistance the animal provides.

Disability Resources will, in partnership with Residence Life and other units, determine, on a case by case basis, whether an animal is a reasonable accommodation in University housing or work sites.

As with service animals, individuals are responsible for the control, care, and supervision of their animals at all times, and the University may exclude a companion animal under the circumstances described in the Service Animals at the University section above.