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CMU Service Animal Policy

CMU Service Animal Policy PDF

A service animal is 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, trained or untrained, are not service animals. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the disability.

Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability.

Dogs and other animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA. Therapy and emotional support animals are not allowed in campus buildings, except in residence halls if the owner is a resident. The Therapy Animal Policy is available from Residence Life.

  1. Service dogs are permitted in any areas of public access on campus. Service dogs are allowed in all classrooms and other environments used by students or other program participants with the exception of areas that for health or safety reasons exclude the presence of animals. Examples of this type of environment would include sterile environments or areas for food storage and preparation, and laboratories with potentially hazardous materials.
  2. Under the ADA, service dogs must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service dog’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the dog through voice, signal, or other effective controls.
  3. The individual with a disability will be asked to remove the dog from the classroom and/or campus if: a. The dog is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it; or b. The dog is not housebroken.
  4. Campus personnel are not responsible for the care or supervision of a service dog.
  5. An employee may ask an individual with a disability:
    1. If the dog is required because of a disability, and
    2. What work or task the dog has been trained to perform.
  6. An employee may not require documentation of disability nor proof that the dog has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal.
  7. Allergies and fear of dogs are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people using service animals. When a person who is allergic to dog dander and a person who uses a service dog must spend time in the same room or facility, they both should be accommodated by assigning them, if possible, to different locations within the room or different rooms in the facility.
  8. Organizations that sell or prepare food must allow service dogs in public areas even if state or local health codes prohibit animals on the premises.
  9. People with disabilities who use service dogs cannot be isolated from other people, treated less favorably than other people, or charged fees that are not charged to other people without animals.
  10. In addition to the provisions about service dogs, the revised ADA regulations have a new, separate provision about miniature horses that have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Most programs and facilities of CMU are not able to accommodate miniature horses used as service animals.