Service Animals - Students

Service Animals for Students with Disabilities

Beloit College is committed to creating and sustaining a successful community of inclusive excellence as we prepare students to live, learn, and work among people who experience the world in fundamentally different ways. Within this framework, the College is committed to providing a supportive environment for students with disabilities as well as to complying with all applicable provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Fair Housing Act.

Service animals are animals specifically trained to assist people with disabilities in the activities of daily living. The ADA, as amended, defines a service animal as “an animal that does work or performs tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability (including psychiatric, cognitive, and mental).” Emotional support animals, comfort animals, and therapy dogs are not service animals and are addressed in the College’s Emotional Support Animal Policy. Other than dogs, the only type of animal that can be considered a service animal under the ADA is a miniature horse, though miniature horses may be subject to somewhat greater restrictions than Service Dogs. Given the rarity of the use of miniature horses as service animals, in the rest of this policy, “Service Dogs” will be used when referring to service animals.

A Service Dog may accompany the individual with a disability everywhere on campus except in rare situations where safety may be compromised or where a Service Dog may interfere with the fundamental nature of the activities being conducted.

Students with disabilities who require a Service Dog on-campus are requested to self-identify as a person with a disability to the Director of Learning Enrichment and Disability Services (hereto referred to as “Director”) as soon as possible after deciding to enroll at the College. The Director will provide information on expectations for the Service Dog to the student and communicate to other college community members to ease the transition of the student.

For students living in campus housing with a Service Dog, the College requests that the student provide as much advance notice as possible prior to the desired move-in date so that College can best accommodate the student and the animal. A meeting may be arranged between the student, the Director, and a Residential Life staff member to discuss how to best accommodate the student, the Service Dog and the campus community.

The care and supervision of the Service Dog is solely the responsibility of the student owner. Service Dogs may not pose a direct threat to the health and safety of persons on the college campus, cause physical damage to property, or fundamentally alter the nature of the College operations. The Service Dog must be maintained (kept clean, free from fleas or ticks, etc.). Local and state ordinances and laws regarding animals apply, including requirements for immunizations, licensing, noise, and restraint.

The Service Dog’s behavior, noise, odor and waste must not exceed reasonable standards for a well-behaved animal. These factors should not create unreasonable disruptions for other residents. If the noise (whining or barking) is excessive as judged by residence life staff, it is grounds to remove the Service Dog from campus. Service Dogs may be excluded from the college campus if the Service Dog behaves in an unacceptable way and/or the student does not control the Service Dog. Uncontrolled barking, jumping on other people, or running away from the handler are some examples of unacceptable behavior for a Service Dog.

The student is responsible for immediately cleaning up and properly disposing of the Service Dog’s waste and is responsible for having the equipment to do so. People who are physically unable to accomplish this task are responsible for arranging for it to be done. The College retains the right to designate a particular area for the Service Dogs to relieve themselves and/or for the disposal of their waste.

The student must be in full control of the Service Dog at all times. 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 the latter cases, the individual must maintain control of the Service Dog through voice, signal, or other effective controls.

Any suspected or observed issues related to animal abuse or neglect will be reported to the proper investigatory authorities and may subject the student to college disciplinary action as well.

The student, not the College, is responsible for the actions of the Service Dog including bodily injury or property damage. Students with Service Dogs are likely to be charged if additional cleaning or damage occurs as a result of having the Service Dog on campus. The student is expected to pay these costs upon repair or cleaning. In addition, the College retains the right to remove the Service Dog, at the owner’s expense, should the Service Dog become a direct threat to the health and safety of others or violates these requirements in any way.

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