Easy Access—Resources for Faculty and Staff:  Animals on Campus—The Basics

When you see a person with a dog or other animal in what seems like an unusual location, and if the individual’s need for a Service Animal and the qualifications of the animal are not evident, you are legally allowed to ask two questions:

  1. Is this animal required because of a disability?
  2. What work or task(s) is the animal individually trained to perform?

Service Animals are trained to perform specific tasks to benefit a person with a disability. Examples of tasks include opening and closing doors, lying across the chest of a seizing or panicking handler, alerting the handler to low blood sugar, and navigating the world. Service Animals are allowed everywhere their handlers go.

Emotional Support Animals have no special training and are typically confined to a student’s residence hall room.

If you’re unsure if an animal is a legitimate Service Animal, do not hesitate to respectfully ask the two questions. If the animal is not trained to perform particular tasks that mitigate disability-related symptoms, you are on solid legal ground in asking the handler to remove the animal from the campus location.

Service Animals in Training are allowed in campus locations that are open to the general public, but are not permitted in on-campus residences or classrooms.

The Meredith College Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Policy and Agreement and the Meredith College Service Animal Policy are available on the Disability Services page.

Melyssa Allen

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