Assistive Animal Policy

University Administration | Student Hanbook

Policy Description & Requirements

Pets and animals are not allowed in University buildings, including residence halls, unless defined by the following criteria:

  • Service animals are individually trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit or 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’ animal for persons with seizure disorders, heart problems, or hearing impairments; or, perform a variety of functions for person with psychiatric disabilities.  Service animals are not pets, they are working animals. 

  • A psychiatric service dog is a dog that helps its handler, who has a psychiatric disability.  Examples of psychiatric disability that may quality a person for a service dog include, but are not limited to:  Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Autism, and Anxiety Disorder.

    Like all 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 (e.g., 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 (e.g., mood changes, panic attacks, oncoming anxiety, etc.)
    • Reminding 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;
    • Many other tasks directly to the specific handler’s needs.

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

  • Therapy animals are 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.  The “job” is to bring a higher level of social functioning to people in nursing homes, schools, hospitals, etc.  They cannot go into no-pets allowed places unless they are invited. 

    A therapy dog is an individual’s pet who has been trained, tested, certified, and insured to work in hospitals, schools, 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, with their dogs, into businesses which do not permit pets. They do not get to fly in the cabins of aircraft, nor do they get to live in “no pets” housing. 

  • Barry University recognizes the importance of Emotional Support Animals (ESA) to individuals with disabilities.  As such, policies have been developed regarding Emotional Support Animals to ensure that persons with disabilities, who require the use of an ESA as a reasonable accommodation, receive the benefit of this partnership.  

    A Barry University housing resident with a disability may be entitled to keep an Emotional Support Animal that provides support.  To qualify for such an accommodation, the Emotional Support Animal must be necessary to afford the individual an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling or participate in the housing services and programs.  Individuals living in an on-campus residence hall may complete and sign an ESA Agreement, permitting an Emotional Support Animal.  Any person, either seeking campus housing or currently a resident (hereinafter “resident”), who needs to have an Emotional Support Animal living with them in campus housing in accordance with the Fair Housing Act, must apply through the Department of Housing and Residence Life at least thirty (30) days prior to the date prospective housing will be needed. 

    An ESA 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 cannot go to classes with you (unless invited) or other businesses that ban pets. 

Requirements For Request Of Service Animals, Psychiatric Service Dogs And Therapy Animals

Students must register with the Office of Accessibility Services and provide disability documentation outlining the medical condition or disability for which the assistive animal is being requested.

If you are considering requesting an assistive animal in on-campus housing you must complete the Accommodation Request Form in the Office of Accessibility Services. 

Requirements For Requests

Emotional Support Animals may only reside in Barry University Housing and Residence Life facilities with expressed approval of the Office of Accessibility Services. Approval will only be given once the required forms, documentation, and any other needed information is submitted. Please contact the Office of Accessibility Services to begin the process and request the Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Application. Before you apply, please make sure you have the below information prepared.

Appropriate documentation must be provided from a qualified medical professional and part of a current and ongoing medical treatment plan. It should include the name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator including information about licensure or certification, and complete contact information (e.g. name, address, and phone number of practice). 

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, distemper, and parvovirus and wear a rabies vaccination tag. Although not mandated, cats should have the normal shots including, rabies, distemper, parvovirus and neutered required for a healthy animal. 

Local Licensing Requirements 

Emotional support animals (ESA) and Therapy Dogs (TD) are different.  Many confuse the two but they are different types of 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.  It has no ADA rights and are not covered by the Fair Housing Act (FHA) rules. 

Responsibility Of Students With Assistive Animals

Assistive animals fall under the following types: Therapy Animal, Psychiatric Service Animal, Emotional Support Animal. 

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 enduring the clean-up of the animal’s waste and, when appropriate, most toilet the animal in areas designated by the University consistent with the reasonable capacity of the owner.  In case of animals with cages, crates, or litter boxes, these 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 time.  Throughout the academic 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 animal’s 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 residence halls, 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, Thanksgiving, winter and spring break periods and evacuations due to hurricanes or other natural events as announced by Housing and Residence Life. 

Assistive animals are expected to spend the majority of their time either with the student or within the assigned room of the animal depending on the type of assistive animal.  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 damages to students’ or University property caused by their animals.  They are also subject to incurring charges from any damages or cleaning that is a result of their assistive animal.   In the evet that more than one student has an assistive animal in a room, the damage or cleaning fees may be split between roommates.  The owners of assistive animals are financially responsible for ALL damages caused by animals.

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 veterinary’s statement regarding the animal’s health.  The University has authority to direct that the animal receive veterinary attention.  Knowledge of and compliance with, local licensing law for animals is the responsibility of the student who has been given permission to have an assistive animal.  The University may require proof of compliance with local animal licensing laws.

Leash:  If appropriate, the animal must be on a leach, 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 immunizations required by law (e.g., rabies) have been given to the dog. 

Roommates:  Prior to move-in, roommates will be notified by the Office of Housing and Residence Life regarding the assistive animal in the suite or room.  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 roommate 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. 

Removal Of Assistance Animals

The University has the authority to temporarily or permanently exclude an assistive animals from its grounds and/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 the Dean of Students and/or the Director of Housing and Residence Life.  Animal safety concerns will be addressed in consultation with the Dean of Students, Director of Housing and Residence Life and the Office of Public Safety. 

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

The University had 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 Director of Housing and Residence Life.  Further action may be taken if an incident is in violation of local or state law or the University’s Student Code of Conduct.  Once an animal is removed from University 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 from University housing units.

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