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:
- 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.”)
- 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.
Meredith College Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Policy and Agreement