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Expectations for Animals on Campus


This policy provides the guidelines and requirements with respect to use of emotional support animals (ESA) and service animals, and applies to any emotional support animal, service animal, or service animal in training whose user or handler is a Hampshire College student residing in College-owned housing and/or attending classes and other campus facilities. It also applies to any handler of a service animal or therapy animal (specifically trained for use by a mental health professional) participating in a College program or who is on the College’s campus (including students, employees and third parties) for any amount of time for any reason (please refer to expectations for visiting on the "Animals on Campus" section of the handbook).

Emotional support animals and service animals that are approved and/or verified through the College’s housing accommodations process will be permitted to reside with their owner in the student’s private room. These animals are also permitted in other areas of the student’s residence as long as the animal is under the direct physical control of the student at all times. “Residence” is defined as the specific apartment unit (“mod”) or residence hall to which the student is assigned.

Emotional support animals are not permitted in any other indoor, College-owned spaces or facilities. Any animal shall have a harness, leash, or other tether at all times while outside of the student’s private room.

Service animals are permitted to accompany their handler in any environment the handler needs to access to perform the necessary tasks for which they are trained, relative to the handler’s disability.

Behavioral Expectations for Animals on Campus

Please refer to the section titled "Resolution of Conflict and Appeals for Service or Emotional Support Animals" for more information about unacceptable animal behaviors and consequences.

Public Etiquette for Other Students/Staff/Faculty/Administrators on Campus
Service animals and emotional support animals are not pets. Accordingly, the College asks that students and their visitors adhere to the following good practices when interacting with service animals and emotional support animals.

Individuals should NOT:

  • Assume that the animal is a pet.
  • Pet/touch an emotional support animal or service animal without asking the handler's permission. Petting distracts them from their responsibilities.
  • Make assumptions about the necessity of the emotional support animal or service animal.
  • Ask the handler about their specific condition.
  • Prioritize the needs of another individual over the needs of an individual with an emotional support animal or service animal. For example, we cannot restrict the access of a service animal fearing another member of the community may have an allergy. If such a conflict arises, the animal's handler and the affected party should seek immediate remediation through the conflict resolution process.
  • Feed an emotional support animal or service animal.
  • Deliberately startle, tease or taunt an emotional support animal or service animal.
  • Separate or attempt to separate an animal from their handler.
  • Hesitate to ask the handler if they would like assistance if the animal and/or handler seem confused about a direction in which to turn, an accessible entrance, the location of an elevator, etc. 

Emergency Situations
Appropriate facilities and campus safety & wellbeing staff are notified of residences with animal inhabitants in case of need for entry for repair or emergency. In the event of an emergency, on campus personnel designated to respond are expected to recognize assistance animals and their role in communicating their partners' need for assistance. 

The handler and/or animal may be confused or disoriented in a stressful situation due to smoke, sirens, wind noise or by shaking and moving ground. The response personnel should be aware that animals may be protective in their confusion and should not be considered harmful. The responders should make every effort to keep the animal with its partner.  

The handler should make every effort to control the animal during an emergency situation and be prepared to muzzle or restrain the animal as needed.  Students who are with emotional support animals or service animals regularly on campus are encouraged to develop an individual evacuation plan with the College.  Students interested in creating such a plan should contact the housing operations office and office of accessibility resources and services.