Service and Assistance Animal Policy
While Alfred University enforces a no-pet policy in its residence halls (with the exception of fish, not exceeding 10 gallons) and campus facilities, it is acknowledged that some members may require the use of service or assistance animals. Set forth below are guidelines concerning the appropriate use of and protocols associated with Service Animals and Assistance Animals.
Service Animals - A “service animal” is an animal trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability. 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, pulling a wheel chair, or assisting an individual during a seizure. The American Disabilities Act limits service animals to dogs and, in some circumstances, miniature horses. Service animals are not considered “pets” and are explicitly permitted to accompany the disabled person in all areas of the University where the disabled person is authorized to be.
In extremely unusual circumstances, a service animal may not be permitted in a specific area, such as in an animal research lab if the service animal’s presence would pose a danger or interfere with research activities. In those cases, the University will work with the individual to explore alternative accommodations for the individual to participate in the University’s program.
Assistance Animals - An assistance animal is not specially trained to assist a person with a disability and, therefore, is not a service animal. An assistance animal is required by a member of the Alfred University community in order to have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy their residence hall room or to participate in the housing program. The animal provides emotional support which alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability. There must be an identifiable and medically indicated relationship between the individual’s disability and the assistance the animal provides. A person with a medically documented need for an assistance animal is permitted to have the animal is his/her residence. An assistance animal is not permitted to accompany the individual with a disability in “no pet” areas of the University, other than his/her residence hall.
Pet - A pet is an animal kept for ordinary use and companionship unrelated to a disability. A pet is not considered a service or assistance animal. Pets, other than fish, are prohibited from residing and/or visiting University residence halls. Further, pets are not permitted in the facilities of Alfred University. Refer to the Control of Animals policy, and/or the Housing & Dining Contract Terms and Conditions for more information about pets in residence housing.
Approved Animal - An approved animal is a Service or Assistance Animal authorized pursuant to this policy.
Owner - The owner is a person with a disability who uses an authorized service or assistance animal.
Service and assistance animals may not reside in University housing without express pre-approval of University officials.
Students intending to bring a service animal to campus and/or to live with a student in a residence hall are requested to inform the Center for Academic Success (CAS) 607-871-2148 Herrick Library. Students are encouraged to make this notification by June 1 for fall term, December 1 for spring term, and April 1 for summer term to allow adequate time to make arrangements. Notification to CAS of the need for a service animal will assist the University in making any necessary preparations, as well as ensuring that appropriate University employees are made aware that the animal is a service animal authorized to be on campus. If it is readily apparent that the individual has a disability and that the animal is a service animal, no further information will be requested. If it is not readily apparent that the animal is a service animal, the individual may be asked if the animal is a service animal required because of a disability and to explain the work or task that the animal has been trained to perform. The animal will not be required to demonstrate this task and no documentation of training will be required. If the service animal is a miniature horse, additional consideration will occur, including but not limited to whether the animal is controllable by the owner and will not present a safety risk.
To begin the process, students must be registered with the Center for Academic Success (CAS), and should complete the “Request Form for Reasonable Accommodations, “available from the CAS, 607-871-2148 Herrick Library. The DHC meets as needed and will determine on a case by case basis and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations whether the animal is a reasonable and appropriate accommodation for the identified disability. Students are encouraged to place their request for use of an assistance animal in University residence halls by June 1 for fall term, December 1 for spring term, and April 1 for summer term to allow adequate time to make arrangements. While applications submitted after these dates will be accepted and considered, Alfred University cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet late applicants’ needs in time for the beginning of the semester. Students, who are in the process of requesting the use of an assistance animal, are not permitted to have the animal in residence hall buildings until the process is complete and approval has been given. The CAS Director will require sufficiently specific documentation on the letterhead of a treating physician or qualified non-University health provider which permits the Director of the Health & Wellness Center to determine that: (1) the individual has a disability (2) the animal is necessary for the individual to have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy their residence, and that (3) there is an identifiable relationship between the disability and the assistance that the animal provides. Determination of reasonable accommodation will include, but is not limited to, whether the animal poses a safety risk.
Assistance animal’s paperwork requirements: Before an assistance animal is permitted on campus as an accommodation, its paperwork must be on file with the Center for Academic Success.
- Health and vaccination records: The animal must have an annual exam from a licensed veterinarian that does not identify health issues sufficient enough to prevent the animal from providing the necessary assistance to the individual. The animal must also have updated vaccinations, including but not limited to, the general maintenance vaccine series and any vaccinations deemed necessary by a licensed veterinarian. The animal must also wear a rabies vaccination tag.
- Licensing: Owner must follow all local or home town licensing laws and tag laws.
Once the request is submitted, in writing, to the CAS Director, it will be reviewed in consultation with the Disability Housing Committee and, if your request was submitted by the deadlines listed above, you will be notified in advance of moving into a residence hall room regarding the status of the application.
Members of the Alfred University community with a Service Animal: The supervision of the animal is solely the responsibility of its owner. The owner must be in full control of their animal at all times, as outlined below. Service animals in University housing may not be left for extended periods of time either unattended or to be cared for by someone other than the owner. The owner is expected to ensure the health, safety, and humane treatment of their animal. The owner agrees to continue to abide by all other University policies. Reasonable accommodation which may constitute an exception to a policy that otherwise would prohibit having an animal does not constitute an exception to any other policy. Office of Residence Life has the ability to relocate owner and approved animal as necessary according to the Housing and Dining contract. Alfred University personnel shall intervene if the animal is found unattended, in need of care, or is causing a disturbance.
- Under control of owner:
- The animal must be under the owner’s direct physical control with a harness, leash, or other tether, unless either the owner is unable because of a disability to use these, or the use of one of these would interfere with the service animal’s safety, effective performance of work or tasks. If so, the service animal must be otherwise under the owner’s control (e.g. voice control, hand signals, or other effective means).
- The animal’s behavior must not be disruptive to its surroundings or other members of the University community. Disruptive behavior includes, but is not limited to, jumping on people, barking, growling, excessive odor, taking food from dining area tables, or taking personal belongings of individuals other than the owner.
- Proximity to owner: While on campus, in areas including classes, public areas or residences, food venues, or assembled gatherings, the animal must be in close physical proximity to the owner.
- Identification: A service animal must wear some type of commonly recognized service animal identification symbol when in public.
- Clean up and grooming requirements: The care of the animal is solely the responsibility of its owner. The animal must be house broken. The owner shall:
- Always carry equipment sufficient to clean up the animal’s waste and immediately remove and dispose of the waste. Members of the University community who are not physically able to pick up and dispose of animal waste are responsible for making all necessary arrangements for assistance. Alfred University is not responsible for this task.
- Keep the animal clean, well groomed, and free of pests. If University facilities are used to bathe the animal, the owner will clean the area when done. Members of the University community who are not physically able to bathe the animal or clean University facilities when done are responsible for making all necessary arrangements for assistance. Alfred University is not responsible for this task.
Members of the Alfred University community with an Assistance Animal in University housing: The animal is only permitted within the owner’s residence hall room and common areas while the owner is present in the common areas. The supervision of the approved animal is solely the responsibility of its owner. The owner must be in full control of the approved animal at all times as outlined above. Assistance animals in University housing may not be left for extended periods of time either unattended or to be cared for by someone other than the owner. The owner must ensure that the animal is housebroken and observe clean up and grooming requirements outlined above. The owner is expected to insure the health, safety, and humane treatment of their animal and submit annual proof of immunizations as required to the Center for Academic Success Director. The owner agrees to continue to abide by all other University policies. Reasonable accommodation which may constitute an exception to a policy that otherwise would prohibit having an animal does not constitute an exception to any other policy. The Office of Residence Life has the ability to relocate owner and approved animal as necessary according to the Housing and Dining contract. University personnel shall intervene if the animal is found unattended, is in need of care, or is causing a disturbance.
Lack of cleanliness and damages caused by the service or assistance animal: All members of the University community are responsible for any extra cleaning required or damage to University property which is caused by them. The owner shall also be responsible for any extra cleaning required or damage to University property which is caused by the service or assistance animal.
- The owner’s residence may be inspected for fleas, ticks, or other pests during the regularly scheduled housing inspection by the Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) office. If fleas, ticks, or other pests are detected through inspection, the residence or work area will be treated using approved fumigation methods by a university-approved pest control service. The owner will be billed for the expense of any pest treatment.
- The owner’s residence may be inspected to ensure it is being properly cleaned and that sanitary and safe conditions are being maintained. If required, the owner will be billed for the expense of the additional cleaning required.
- The owner’s residence may be inspected for physical damage during the regularly scheduled housing inspection. The owner will be billed for the expense of any damage to the University residence or University furnishings within the residence that are caused by the animal.
Managing disabling conditions and concerns of all members of the Alfred University residential community
Within University residences, the health and well-being of all roommates, suitemates, apartment mates, housemates and building occupants will be considered.
- Members of the University community with medical conditions(s) that are affected by animals (e.g., respiratory diseases, asthma, severe allergies) are asked to contact the Office of Residence Life if they have a health or safety related concern about exposure to an animal.
- Roommates, suitemates, apartment mates, and/or housemates will be made aware of the planned presence of an animal in their residence by the Office of Residence Life. They will be asked to sign an acknowledgement stating that they understand they will be living in the presence of an animal and are aware of how to address concerns if needed. In the event that a roommate, suitemate, apartment mate and/or housemate has an allergy or other physical or emotional condition aggravated by the presence of the animal, the University will work with the students involved to find a housing solution acceptable to all. However, when faced with students with incompatible medical needs, the University may find it necessary to relocate one or more students involuntarily, including, where the University deems appropriate, the student with the animal.
Removal Of a Service or Assistance Animal
Removal of a service or assistance animal: Alfred University may pursue the process for determining if an approved animal should be removed from campus housing for the following reasons:
- The animal is not under the direct physical control of the owner
- The animal’s behavior is disruptive to its surroundings or other members of the University community
- The animal poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others
- The animal’s presence fundamentally alters the nature of a program or activity
- The owner fails to comply with any of their responsibilities under this policy
- Any member of the University community may submit a complaint about a service or assistance animal, identifying one or more concerns in the areas listed above.
- The University will investigate the situation. If the University determines that a violation of this policy occurred, the owner of the animal will be informed, and the University will take appropriate responsive measures. The University’s responsive measures will depend on the circumstances of the situation. Where reasonable, the University will work with the owner to resolve the situation in a way that allows the owner to continue to have the service or assistance of the animal or another animal. The University reserves the right to require an owner to remove the animal from University property.
Decisions made pursuant to this policy are reviewable by the Vice President of Student Experience upon request by the affected person(s). The request for review should be made to the Vice President of Student Experience within ten business days of the decision. Additionally, in appropriate cases, an appeal may be available through the University’s Section 504 Grievance Procedure. Please contact the 504/ADA Compliance Officer at 607-871-2154.
Policy responsibility: CAS and Residence Life
August 2014/ Revised 3/8/16