Assistive Animal Policy

Pets and animals are not allowed on campus or in residence halls unless defined by the following criteria:

Service Animals

Service animals are individually trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability. Service animals may do such things as guide a person who is blind; pick up or fetch things for a person with a physical impairment; act as "medic alert" animals for people with seizure disorders, heart problems, or hearing impairments; or perform a variety of functions for people with psychiatric disabilities. Service animals are not pets; they are working animals.

Psychiatric Service Dog (PSD)

A Psychiatric Service Dog is a dog that helps its handler, who has a mental (psychiatric) disability. Examples of mental disabilities that may sometimes qualify a person for a Service Dog include, but are not limited to: Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Autism, Anxiety Disorder, and Schizophrenia.

Like all other types of service dogs, a Psychiatric Service Dog helps its handler mitigate his disability through trained work and tasks, including, but not limited to:

  • picking up/retrieving objects or aiding with mobility when the handler is dizzy from medication or has psychosomatic (physical) symptoms (i.e. pain, leaden paralysis, severe lethargy, etc.);
  • waking the handler if the handler sleeps through alarms or cannot get himself out of bed;
  • alerting to and/or responding to episodes (i.e. mood changes, panic attacks, oncoming anxiety, etc.);
  • reminding the handler to take medication if the handler cannot remember on his own or with the use of an alarm;
  • alerting to and/or distracting the handler from repetitive and obsessive thoughts or behaviors (such as those brought on by Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder);
  • as well as many other tasks directly related to the specific handler’s disability.

A Psychiatric Service Dogs (PSDs) may be of any size and of any breed suited for public work.

Some Psychiatric Service Dog handlers may choose to refer to their dogs as Alert or Medical Response Dogs, depending on what the dog does for them.

In the USA, handlers of PSDs are entitled to the same rights and protections afforded to handlers of other types of service dogs, such as Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs, and Mobility Dogs, under federal laws. Like all other types of Service Dogs (SDs), Psychiatric Service Dogs are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of the disabled person. They have also been trained to act discretely in public places, such as lying quietly under the desk in a classroom, keeping tightly to the handler’s side and not sniffing anything on the shelves of grocery stores, and ignoring other people and animals.

Emotional Support Animals (ESA)

An ESA (Emotional Support Animal) is an animal owned by a disabled person. An ESA is a therapeutic pet, but has special rights under the FHA to allow them to live in “no pet” housing. It however does not have any ADA protections like Title I (Work place), Title II (Transport) or Title III (Public Access in businesses). So your ESA can not go to classes with you (unless invited) or other businesses that ban pets.

The requirements to have an ESA are: 1) be legally disabled under the FHA or State law and/or, 2) a letter from your doctor prescribing an ESA for your mental well-being.

Please note: it is a crime, felony fraud, to claim your pet, or ESA, as a Service Dog with ADA rights.

Therapy Animals

Therapy animals are anyone’s pets that have been trained to behave properly in a wide variety of environments and who are exceptionally gentle and well-mannered with a wide variety of human beings. Their “job” is to bring a higher level of social functioning to people in nursing homes, schools, hospitals, hospices, etc. They cannot go into no-pets-allowed places unless they are invited.

A therapy dog is an individual’s pet which has been trained, tested, certified and insured to work in hospital, nursing home, school, and other institutional settings. The therapy dog and their handler visit to cheer patients, to educate the community, to counter grief and stress, and generally be good canine ambassadors within the community. Many therapy dog partners are volunteers. Therapy dogs are not service dogs.

Under U.S. law, persons with therapy dogs are NOT granted the right to enter businesses with their dogs which do not permit pets. They do not get to fly in the cabins of aircraft because they are therapy dogs, nor do they get to live in “no pets” housing because they are therapy dogs.

Emotional Support Animals (ESA) and Therapy Dogs (TD) are different. Many confuse the two, they are two different animals, and different laws apply to them. Neither of them are ADA Service Dogs (SD). The Therapy Dog is a working animal, owned by a non-disabled person. When working it visits hospitals, schools and nursing homes to brighten the spirits of the people it visits. It has no ADA rights and the FHA rules do not apply to it.

If you are considering requesting an assistive animal in on-campus housing, you must complete the Accommodation Request Form indicating so, read the information below, and complete the additional Assistive Animal Request Form included in this packet.

Responsibility of Students with Assistive Animals

Care and Supervision: Care and supervision of the animal are the responsibilities of the student who benefits from the animal's use. The student is required to maintain control of the animal at all times, consistent with the capacity of the service animal user. The student is also responsible for ensuring the cleanup of the animal's waste and, when appropriate, must toilet the animal in areas designated by the University consistent with the reasonable capacity of the owner. In the case of animals with cages, crates, or litter boxes must be cleaned daily to avoid the room becoming unsanitary. Consequently, all pet-related materials and waste must be properly bagged and disposed of in the dumpsters.

Animals cannot be tethered to buildings at any point. Throughout the school year, staff needs access to resident rooms for routine and emergency maintenance, cleaning and health and safety checks. It is the responsibility of the assistive animals’ owner to therefore crate or cage their animals when they are not present in the room to prevent harm or loss of an assistive animal.

During overnight absences or vacations from their place of residence, students must take assistive animals with them and not leave the animals on campus for any reason. This includes but is not limited to weekend travel, overnight visits, and the Thanksgiving, winter and Spring Break periods. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action (see removal policy).

Assistive animals are expected to spend the majority of their time either with the student or within the assigned room of the pet. Unless escorted by their student, animals are not permitted to walk through community spaces including other student rooms, common areas, laundry facilities, and/or classrooms.

Damages:Owners of assistive animals are solely responsible for any damage to students or university property caused by their animals and is subject to incurring charges from any damages or cleaning that is a result of their assistive animal. In the event that more than one student has an assistive animal in the room, the damage or cleaning fees may be split among roommates. Owner is financially responsible for ALL damages caused by animal.

Health: Animals housed in university housing must have an annual clean bill of health from a licensed veterinarian. Documentation can be a vaccination certificate for the animal or a veterinarian's statement regarding the animal's health. The university has authority to direct that the animal receive veterinary attention. (Local licensing law is followed.)

Leash: If appropriate the animal must be on a leash, unless the leash would inhibit the animal's ability to be of service.

Licensing: Dogs must wear license tags at all times. The tags verify that the shots (rabies, etc.) required by law have been given.

Roommates: Prior to move-in, roommates will be notified by the Department of Housing and Residence Life regarding the assistive animal in the suite or apartment. The notification will include the type of animal and what services the animal performs. Roommates may request a room change if not comfortable with the presence of the assistive animal. It is highly encouraged that the student with the assistive animal discusses the presence of the animal with his/her roommates prior to move-in as well.

Vaccination: In accordance with local ordinances and regulations the animal must be immunized against diseases common to that type of animal. Dogs must have current vaccination against rabies and wear a rabies vaccination tag. Although not mandated, cats should have the normal shots and neutered required for a healthy animal. Local licensing requirements are followed.

Removal of Assistance Animals

The University has the authority to temporarily or permanently exclude an assistive animal from its grounds or facilities if the animal’s behavior is unruly or disruptive, in ill health, or habitually unclean. Health concerns and disruption issues will be addressed by Dean of Students and Residence Life staff. Animal safety concerns will be addressed in consultation with Barry University office of the Dean of Students, Department of Housing and Residence Life, as well as the Department of Public Safety.

The University may exclude/remove an assistive animal when it poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, or results in a fundamental alteration of the University's program, or is documented that the animals living conditions are not conducive to a healthy living environment for the animal.

The department has adopted a “one-bite” policy which requires an assistive animal to be removed from university property after a single occurrence of unprovoked biting or other aggressive behavior. The decision to exclude an assistive animal from the University will be made by the Dean of Students and the Department of Housing and Residence Life if the assistive animal is deemed an immediate threat to the health and safety of others, after hearing information from all parties involved if the situation is not an emergency. Further action may be taken if an incident is in violation of local or state law or the Barry University Student Code of Conduct. Once an animal is removed from housing, they are not permitted to live on campus again. There is no appeal process to decisions made in regards to approving/declining/removing animals in residence.

Requirements for Request – Residents Only

Assistive animals may only reside in Barry University Housing and Residence Life facilities with expressed approval of the Department of Housing and Residence Life. Approval will only be given once the required forms, documentation, and any other needed information is submitted.

Accommodation Request Form:The student must complete the Accommodation Request form, outlining the medical condition or disability for which the assistive animal is being requested. The form must be submitted to the Office of Disability Services for review. The Accommodation Request Form is available here:

Vaccination/Health Information:The student must submit vaccination records or a veterinarian’s statement regarding the health of the animal at the time of the request, or as soon as possible thereafter.

Requirements for Request

The student must register with the Office of Disability Services, and provide disability documentation outlining the medical condition or disability for which the assistive animal is being requested.

For additional information regarding procedures for disability services, access on campus, reasonable accommodations or academic adjustments, please refer to:

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