Animals on Campus

Animals are generally not permitted in University buildings with some exceptions, such as service animals, service animals in training, and assistance animals determined to be a reasonable accommodation. Service animals may be used by individuals with disabilities in order to participate in or gain access to programs, benefits, or services at the University.

The information below is intended to help students, employees, and visitors understand the difference between various kinds of animals, where they are permitted, and when they may be removed.

Service and Emotional Support Animals

  • Service Animals: Service animals are specifically trained to perform tasks or work for people with disabilities. These disabilities may be physical, sensory, psychiatric, or intellectual in nature. The ADA defines service animals as dogs (and in some cases, miniature horses) that are individually trained to perform tasks directly related to the person’s disability. Service animals have legal protection to accompany their handlers in all public places, including restaurants, stores, and transportation.
  • Emotional Support Animals: Emotional support animals (ESAs) provide comfort, companionship, and emotional support to individuals with mental health conditions or emotional disorders. Unlike service animals, ESAs do not require specific training for task performance. They are primarily prescribed by mental health professionals to alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression, or other psychiatric conditions. ESAs are protected under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) in the United States, which grants individuals the right to keep them in housing units that otherwise have pet restrictions. However, ESAs do not have the same level of public access rights as service animals.