Disability Services has received a number of questions recently about animals on campus.
The only animals allowed to accompany students anywhere on campus are Service Animals. 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 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 animal 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 work or task(s) is the animal specifically trained to perform?
(Hint: “It helps with my anxiety” means that the animal is an Emotional Support Animal, not a Service Animal, and should not be anywhere on campus 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 is not under the Owner’s control or disrupts the learning environment or program.
The full Meredith College Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Policy and Agreement is available on the my.meredith portal.
Please check out all the resources for faculty and staff on the my.meredith portal: DS Resources for Faculty and Staff