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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’s) and service animals, and applies to any ESA or service animal whose user or handler is a Hampshire College student residing in College-owned housing. It also applies to any handler of a service animal participating in a College program or who is on the College’s campus (including students, employees and third parties). The policy applies to working service animals, service animals in training and service puppies. 

ESA’s and service animals that are approved or supported 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. An assistance/emotional support 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.

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

Individuals should NOT:

  • Assume that the animal is a pet.
  • Pet/touch an assistance animal. Petting distracts them from their responsibilities.
  • Assume the handler may have visible disability.  Do not make assumptions about the necessity of the assistance animal.
  • Ask the handler about their specific condition.
  • Prioritize the needs of another individual over the needs of an individual with an assistance animal. For example, we cannot restrict the access of an assistance animal fearing another member of the community may have an allergy.
  • Feed an assistance animal.
  • Deliberately startle, tease or taunt an assistance animal.
  • Separate or attempt to separate an animal from their handler.
  • Hesitate to ask the handler if they would like assistance if the team seems confused about a direction in which to turn, an accessible entrance, the location of an elevator, etc. 

Emergency Situations
Appropriate facilities and campus police 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 is 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 assistance 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.