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Pets, Service, and Support Animals on Campus


Pet Policy
Pets and other animals, with the exception of service animals and emotional support animals approved in accordance with the College’s policy for disability disclosure and accommodation, are prohibited in all residence buildings. Residents are also prohibited from keeping or providing for animals on College property. Visiting animals are not permitted in any campus facility and must be under the control of the owner (i.e. on a leash or harness) at all times. Hosts are responsible for cleaning up after any visiting animals. Visiting is defined as temporary, short term (less than one (1) day), and occasional (no more than three (3) times per semester) and not overnight. This differs from the policy for human guests.

Violation of the pet policy or any relevant animal policies will result in immediate removal of the animal from campus. Students will bear any associated cost to the College or any of its employees or agents, whether because of damage to property owned by the College or others, or because of any claim brought against the College by any person because of injury, illness, or other reason as a result of the student having brought an animal onto campus, regardless of whether the animal is in violation of policy. 

A pet is an animal kept for ordinary use and companionship. A pet is not considered a service or emotional support animal and is not allowed in campus residences, buildings, and other facilities. 

Hampshire College is committed to creating a welcoming environment through the use of commonly accepted guidelines and procedures that allow animals to be on-campus for specific purposes. These purposes include reasonable accommodations for employees, students, and visitors with disabilities in compliance with applicable Massachusetts state and federal laws. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended and related laws, rules and regulations, including the Fair Housing Act, Hampshire College will reasonably accommodate requests for service animals and emotional support animals to reside with their owner/handler in College provided housing. 

Disability:  Defined as a physical or mental condition or impairment that is medically recognizable and diagnosable, and substantially limits one or more of an individual’s major life activities.  These limitations may include performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, working, and learning.  An individual is substantially limited in major life activities if they are unable to perform the activity, or is significantly restricted as to the manner in which they can perform that activity when compared to the average person.  Acceptable documentation of a disability will be from either a licensed medical or mental health provider and must verify the disability and describe the need for a service or emotional support animal.

Service Animal Access
Service Animal:
 Any dog* that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition, however the College will consider other animal species on a case-by-case basis in accordance with Federal regulations. The tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual's disability.

*Dogs are specified due to the unreasonable nature of providing any larger animals (such as miniature ponies) access, care, and use on a college campus. Therefore we focus on dogs in the context of service animals at Hampshire College and commensurate language is used throughout our materials. Any need for consideration of exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors.

Students requiring use of a service animal as a means of access may utilize their service animal as needed throughout campus. It is important that, if a student resides on campus that they connect with the office of accessibility resources and services (OARS) to ensure they are placed in a residence which does not conflict with their disability. In order to maintain equal access for other residents, it is also important the the presence of an animal does not conflict with the disabilities of others. If this is the case, either or both parties should engage in the grievance process for disability-related access.

Service Dogs in Training: These animals are considered to have the same public accommodation rights as service animals. However, service dogs in training are expected to behave to the same level of expectation as a trained service animal and must abide by the expectations for animals on campus

It is highly recommended that students partner with a reputable training organization to facilitate animal training and ensure that an animal is ready to meet behavioral expectations.

Emotional Support Animals (ESA): Animals that provide assistance and/or emotional support to its owner by its very presence but are not trained to perform specific tasks in response to the disability. These animals (not limited to dogs) do not meet the ADA definition of a Service Animal, but may qualify under the Fair Housing Act and Hampshire College’s Policy on emotional support animals.

Because emotional support animals are not required to perform a specific task for a student and do not need to be with the student at all times, they are only permitted in the student’s residence. As such they are considered a housing-based accommodation and requests for emotional support animals are handled as any other request for housing-based accommodation.

Students with a disability may apply to have an emotional support animal as a reasonable accommodation in housing facilities that otherwise impose restrictions or prohibitions on animals.  Students requesting an emotional support animal as a reasonable accommodation must register with the office of accessibility resources and services (OARS) and pursue the disability disclosure and accommodation request process

Students may submit a request for accommodation at any time. However, if approved for an emotional support animal, students will not be permitted to bring the animal to campus until the beginning of the following academic semester. 

In order to qualify for such an accommodation, the emotional support animal must be necessary to afford the individual an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling or to participate in the housing service or program and there must be a relationship between the individual’s disability and the assistance the animal provides, documented by a medical professional competent to address the need for the accommodation and the requirement of the specific accommodation requested.

Students going through the request process should note that all emotional support animals must be spayed or neutered. In addition, all animals must be housebroken or live within a contained habitat, and may not weigh more than 88 pounds. Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

Students whose requests are approved will be permitted to have one emotional support animal. 

It is highly recommended that emotional support animal handlers pursue relevant training, such as "good citizen training" for dogs, to ensure their animal meets behavioral expectations.