Animals on Campus

Information provided by Disability Access and Education:

Many of you have asked about the increasing occurrence of animals on campus.  If you want to read the federal rules and guidance, please go to this link: Service and Emotional Support Animals.  You may also view the FPU policy at the following:  FPU Policy Service and Emotional Support Animals, or you can read a condensed version below. 


The distinction between a Service Animal (SA) and Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is important. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a Service Animal as “any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability” (ADA National Network).  On rare occasions, a miniature horse functions as a Service Animal (but I haven’t seen one yet, not even at national disability conferences).  Emotional Support Animals “provide companionship, relieve loneliness, and sometimes help with depression, anxiety, and certain phobias, but do not have special training to perform tasks that assist people with disabilities” and may be any species of animal (ADA National Network).   


Service Animals are allowed anywhere their handlers go, including classrooms, offices, public spaces, and food service areas.  ESAs are only allowed in on-campus housing with specific clearance from the office of Disability Access and Education (formerly Services for Students with Disabilities).  ESAs are not allowed in classrooms, offices, public spaces, or food service areas.  If a person comes to your classroom or work area with a dog and if it is not readily apparent that it is a Service Animal, you may only ask the following two questions to determine whether you should allow the animal access: 

  1. Is the animal required because of a disability? 
  2. What work or task has the animal been trained to perform? 

 You may not ask for documentation or other information concerning the animal’s training or the person’s disability.  SAs do not have to be authorized by Disability Access and Education although it is requested to register an animal’s presence.  


We will have both Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals on the main campus this Fall.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.