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Student Responsibilities for Service and Emotional Support Animals

Service Animals: We encourage, but do not require, students to make themselves known to the College should they desire to have a service animal accompany them in academic classes, activities, or services on campus.

If a student plans to have their service animal live with them in residence, we ask that they provide notice to the College especially if they are seeking some type of accommodation for that animal.  Notice to the College is used solely to ensure the appropriate housing placement is made.  Students should provide notice to the College by contacting the Office of Accessibility Resources and Services (OARS).

Emotional Support Animals (ESA): Any student requesting to have an ESA as a formal accommodation, must pursue the Disability Disclosure and Accommodation Request Process and be approved for an ESA as a reasonable Accommodation.

All persons with service animals or emotional support animals are expected to adhere to the Expectations for Animals on Campus and ensure that their animals act and respond appropriately at all times while in public.

Students are responsible for ensuring the safety of their animals.

Control Requirements
The animal may not pose a risk of health or safety to others and may not create unreasonable interference for others.

An assistance/emotional support animal shall have a harness, leash, or other tether at all times while outside of the student’s private room. If the student is unable to use a harness, leash, or other tether because of a disability, or because the use of such a restraint would interfere with the animal´s safe, effective performance of work or tasks (service animals only), the animal must be under the handler's control (e.g., voice control, signals, or other effective means).

Service animals (including trainees) shall be reasonably identified to the community by harness or service animal vest or other gear when not in a private or student residence. If there is no identification, College staff may ask if the animal is a working service animal. It is strongly encouraged that all emotional support animals also be identified as such in a reasonable manner by use of vest or other clear signage and gear.

Animal user/handlers are responsible for cleaning up their animal’s waste. Waste must be properly disposed of. Persons with disabilities who physically cannot clean up after their own animal will not be required to do so; however these individuals should take their animal to designated relief areas. Relief areas may be designated on an individual basis with the collaboration of the Housing Operations Office (HOO) and the College grounds personnel. If an animal relieves itself in non-designated areas, these individuals should request assistance with cleaning up.

Care of Animal
Students are expected to maintain flea, tick and odor control.  Animals must be regularly groomed as appropriate. All animals are expected to be up to date with required vaccinations, licenses, and maintain a regular schedule of veterinary care.

Financial Responsibility
Students who have an animal on campus are financially responsible for property damage caused by the animal including, but not limited to, cost of repairs, replacement or cleaning of facilities or furnishings and any bodily injury or personal injury caused to other persons by the animal.

Documentation Requirements 
The student must provide the following documentation to the Housing Operations Office upon approval of the accommodation request and prior to the arrival of the animal on campus, and then annually or as requested by a College official:

  • A Picture of the Animal: To allow College personnel to be able to identify an animal appropriately in the case of emergency, animals left unattended or who are lost, and during other routine administrative and housing-related work.
  • Proof of Licensure: If the animal is residing on campus it must meet the town of Amherst and or Massachusetts licensing requirements and wear tags designating this license.
    • If the animal resides off campus (service animal), the animal must meet the licensing requirements of the Service Animal user/handlers’ resident town and wear tags indicating this licensing.
    • Proof of Vaccinations: All dogs must wear a rabies vaccination tag. All animals residing or coming onto campus on a regular basis must be up to date with vaccinations in accordance with state and local laws and regulations.
    • Proof of Annual Veterinary Care: The student must provide evidence that the animal is receiving annual, routine veterinary care.
    • Proof of Service-Animal-in-Training Status (where applicable): Service Animal user/handlers will provide upon request the College with evidence that the animal is a service dog candidate.

Additionally, it is recommended that the student provide evidence of current insurance coverage for any injuries the animal may cause to a third party as specified in the preceding section.

Restricted Areas
The College may restrict the use of assistance/emotional support animal in certain residential locations.

The College may prohibit the use of service animals in certain locations due to health or safety hazards, where service animals may be endangered, or where their use may compromise the integrity of research or fundamentally alter the nature of a program or activity. The safety of locations will be individually considered by the director of OARS, the laboratory director or professor, and the College risk management team. If a location is determined to be unsafe, reasonable accommodations will be provided to ensure the individual equal access to the activity.

Exceptions to restricted areas may be granted on a case-by-case basis by contacting OARS. In making its decision, OARS will consult with the appropriate department and/or laboratory representative regarding the nature of the restricted area and any ongoing research.