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I. College Policy on Service Animals
Approved by Risk Management Safety Council 8/11/00
Definition: Service animals are animals trained to assist people with disabilities in the activities of normal living. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines service animals as ". . . any . . . animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals who are hearing impaired to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair or fetching dropped items."
This definition means that 1) an individual must have a disability as defined by the ADA, and 2) the accompanying animal must be trained to do specific tasks for the qualified individual.
If an animal meets this definition, it is considered a service animal regardless of whether it has been licensed or certified by a state or local government or an animal training program. Messiah College complies with the ADA in allowing use of service animals for both short-term visitors and longer-term students and employees. Pets or "comfort animals" are not allowed in any campus buildings under this policy.
II. Long-Term versus Short-Term Use
For purposes of this policy, the College differentiates between individuals who are students or employees (long-term use of a service-animal) versus "short-term visitors." Short-term visitors (1-7 days) are free to use a service animal on campus without formally registering the animal with the Office of Disability Services. Owners/handlers are asked to notify the Conference Services office (4510) of their use of a service animal while visiting. Notification will allow the College to identify suitable exercise areas, if needed, as well as to accommodate others whose health may be affected by the presence of an animal. Handlers/users are expected to comply with standards of cleanliness and control of service animals as specified under Section V. Conditions for Keeping a Service Animal, below.
Students desiring to use a service animal on campus should first contact Disability Services to register as a student with a disability. The Director of Disability Services (or designee) will evaluate the documentation of disability and discuss with the individual any accommodations appropriate to the functional limitations of the disability.
Faculty or staff wishing to use a service animal on campus should contact the Office of Human Resources. The Director (or designee) of Human Resources, in consultation with the Director of Disability Services will evaluate the disability and make any appropriate recommendations.
III. Prohibited Areas:
Service animals are prohibited from kitchens and food-preparation areas except those in apartments and other residence facilities. Science instructors conducting laboratory research that may be contaminated by animal hair or dander may limit access to service animals if the instructor or lab supervisor has reason to believe an animal's presence would compromise the research environment.
Service animals are prohibited from utility rooms and other hazardous service areas.
IV. Conditions for Keeping a Service Animal
Disruption: The partner of an animal that is unruly or disruptive (e.g., barking, running around unleashed, aggressive toward others, bringing attention to itself, excessive flatulence, etc.) may be asked to remove the animal from college facilities. If the improper behavior happens repeatedly, the partner may be asked not to bring the animal into any college facility until the partner takes significant steps to mitigate the behavior. Mitigation may include muzzling a barking animal or refresher training for both the animal and the partner, as appropriate.
Ill Health: Service animals that are ill should not be taken into public areas. A person with an ill animal may be asked to leave college facilities or remove the animal from campus
Regular bathing or cleaning of the animal is expected to avoid significant odors or shedding
V. Responsibilities of the Long-Term Handler/Partner:
VI. Responsibilities of the Office of Disability Services:
VII. Requirements for Faculty, Staff and Students
VIII. TYPES OF SERVICE DOGS
A variety of animals have been trained to assist persons with disabilities, including dogs, monkeys, birds, and small horses. Animals can be trained to provide widely-ranging services from guidance for a person who is blind to monkeys or birds that pick up small items that may have been dropped and not retrievable by the handler/partner. The most common assist animal is a trained dog:
Policy Approved by Risk Management Safety Council 4/12/2006.
Policy maintained by the Office of Disability Services.