Animals on Campus: What can I ask?

Faircloth Gate

Service Animals are the only animals allowed to accompany students anywhere on campus. Service Animals are typically dogs and are trained to perform specific tasks directly related to the disability of its Owner or Handler. Most wear an identifying vest or harness, but identification is not required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), so an animal’s credentials may not always be easily determined.

If an individual’s need for a Service Animal and/or the qualifications of the animal are not obvious, the Owner may be asked two questions:

  1. Is the dog required because of a disability? (Tip: Never ask about an individual’s specific disability diagnosis, but you may ask if an animal is necessary “because of a disability.”)
  2. What disability-related work or task has the dog been trained to perform? (Hint: “It helps with my anxiety” means that the animal is an Emotional Support Animal [ESA], not a Service Animal, and should not be inside any campus building other than the Owner’s on-campus housing space.)

Faculty and staff may ask a student to remove any animal, including a Service Animal, from a classroom or other setting if the animal disrupts the learning, living, or community environment or program. 

  • If a Service Animal behaves in a way that poses a direct threat to the safety of others, the Handler may be asked to remove the animal.
  • If the Service Animal displays disruptive, unruly, or aggressive behavior, the Handler may be asked to remove the animal.
  • If it is not under the control of the handler, a Service Animal may be excluded from a Meredith facility.

Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are not trained and provide passive assistance. ESAs are only allowed in a student’s personal on-campus housing space. ESAs are not permitted in classrooms, classroom buildings, Belk Dining Hall, Cate/Park Center or the Bee Hive, the library, Jones Chapel, Jones Auditorium, or in Weatherspoon Gym.

For more information, please refer to this document available on the my.meredith portal: Where are animals allowed on campus? Visit the Disability Services Faculty Resource page on for more information about Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals.

Meredith College Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Policy and Agreement

Melyssa Allen

News Director
316 Johnson Hall
(919) 760-8087
Fax: (919) 760-8330