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General Description
Requirements
Policy Provisions
Performance Evaluation
Attachments
Subject Experts
Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals
Policy

Document Number: DISAB--108 Revision #: 1.0
Document Owner: Executive VP Date Last Updated: 07/15/2015
Primary Author: Director of Counseling/Disability Services Status: Approved
Date Originally Created: 11/16/2011

General Description
Description:

Information about service animals and emotional support/therapy animals relative to Disability Services


Purpose:

Delineation of policy


Scope:

All faculty, staff, students, and administrators


Responsibility: Counseling/Disability Services
Dean of Students
Executive VP
Legal Counsel

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Requirements
Relevant Knowledge: In order to comply with this policy you should know:
State statutes
Standards of good practice
Standard company policies
Local statutes
Federal statutes
Current University policy

Terms and Definitions: Additional training

Corrective Action

Fine

Loss of privilege, general

OCR visit

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Policy Provisions
1.

Service Animals


Students who utilize a service animal for assistance must complete a Service Animal Registration Form.


1.1

Definition


Per the Americans with Disabilities Act, a "Service Animal" is a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. In some cases, a miniature horse may be permitted as a Service Animal. Other animals, whether wild or domestic, do not qualify as Service Animals. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other specific tasks. The work or task a Service Animal has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability.

 

Service Animals in training: Individuals qualified to train animals to aid and guide persons with disabilities are afforded the same rights to those individuals who require the assistance of a Service Animal. If you are training a Service Animal, you must contact Disability Services and Residence Life and comply with the requirements set forth in this policy.

 


1.2

Procedures for notification of a Service Animal in a Residence Hall

 


A. A student seeking to keep a Service Animal in a residence hall needs to provide notification to Disability Services within the Counseling Center. The office requests the student complete the Registration for Disability Services form so that the student can be assigned to the most appropriate housing location with their service animal, considering the student’s needs and preferences.

 

B. Requests for Service Animals in a residence hall do NOT require documentation of disability. Rather, students should answer relevant questions on the Registration for Disability Services regarding requests for Service Animals.

 

C. Disability Support Services and Residence Life will arrange a meeting with the student requesting a Service Animal within the residence hall. The service animal care and responsibility policy will be carefully reviewed with the student at that time.

 

D. Residential building staff will be notified as appropriate.

 

E. The student’s roommate(s) or suitemate(s) will be notified (if applicable) to solicit their acknowledgement of the approval, and notify them that the service animal will be residing in shared assigned living space.


2.

Emotional Support/Therapy Animal


Cumberland University recognizes the importance of Service Animals and Emotional Support/Therapy Animals to individuals with disabilities and has established the following policies to assist persons with disabilities that require such an animal on campus.

 

This policy ensures that persons with disabilities, who require the use of Service Animals, receive the benefit of the work or tasks performed by such animals. This policy also ensures that persons with disabilities who require the use of Emotional Support/Therapy Animals (as a reasonable accommodation) receive the benefit of the therapeutic support they provide.

 

Set forth below are specific requirements and guidelines concerning the appropriate use of and protocols associated with Service Animals and Emotional Support/Therapy Animals. Cumberland University reserves the right to amend this policy, as circumstances require.

 


2.1

Definition


Per the Fair Housing Act, Cumberland University provides reasonable accommodations for an Emotional Support/Therapy animal in residence halls. An Emotional Support/Therapy animal is an animal whose sole function is to provide Emotional Support/Therapy, comfort, therapy, therapeutic benefits, or to promote emotional well-being for a person with a documented disability. Unlike service animals, support animals are not required to be trained to perform work or tasks, and they include species other than dogs and miniature horses.

 

A person qualifies for reasonable accommodation of an Emotional Support/Therapy animal if:

1. The person has a documented disability;

2. The animal is necessary to afford the person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy the residence halls; and

3. There is an identifiable relationship between the disability and the assistance the Emotional Support/Therapy animal provides. Emotional Support/Therapy animals are not allowed to accompany persons with disabilities in all public areas of Cumberland University as a service animal is allowed to do. However, an Emotional Support/Therapy animal may reside in a residence hall, including accompanying such individual in all common use areas of that residence hall, when it may be necessary to afford the person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy residence housing.

Requests for Emotional Support/Therapy animals will be considered by Disability Services, Residence Life and review by the Animal Use Committee which will ascertain the owner‘s knowledge and ability to properly care for the animal.

 


2.2

Procedures for Requesting an Emotional Support/Therapy Animal in a Residence Hall as a Reasonable Accommodation

 


The procedures for requesting an Emotional Support/Therapy Animal in residential housing are outlined below:

 

A. A student requesting permission to keep an Emotional Support/Therapy Animal in a residential hall must make a formal request to Disability Services within the Counseling Center. The person should submit the appropriate “Registration for Disability Services”, as well as “Emotional Support/Therapy Animal Documentation Form” preferably 45 days prior to moving into the residence hall, but no less than 14 days, in order to allow for review and make a determination of eligibility by Disability Services and coordinate accommodations with Residence Life.

 

B. Documentation (through the Emotional Support/Therapy Animal Documentation Form) of the need for an Emotional Support/Therapy Animal should follow Disability Services guidelines for documentation of disability, and should generally include the following information that should be completed by a psychiatrist or other certified mental health professional:

1. The person has a documented disability;

2. The animal is necessary to afford the person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy the residence halls; and

3. There is an identifiable relationship between the disability and the assistance the animal provides. The mental health professional that has been working with the person for a substantial time period should complete the Emotional Support/Therapy Animal Documentation Form and provide any available additional documentation that supports the need for and relationship between the disability and the assistance the Emotional Support/Therapy animal provides.

C. After review and if the request is approved, Disability Services and Residence Life shall arrange a meeting with the student requesting an Emotional Support/Therapy Animal for use in a residence hall. Policies regarding the care and responsibilities for the Emotional Support/Therapy Animal will be carefully reviewed with the student at that time.

 

D. Upon approval of an Emotional Support/Therapy Animal, residential building staff will be notified as appropriate.

 

E. Upon approval of an Emotional Support/Therapy Animal, the student’s roommate(s) or suitemate(s) will be notified (if applicable) to solicit their acknowledgement of the approval, and notify them that the approved animal will be residing in shared assigned living space.

 

F. A student, whose request for an Emotional Support/Therapy Animal through this process is not granted, will have the opportunity to appeal such decisions. The Dean of Students reviews all appeals.  The student will receive information about the appeals process upon notification of decision of request for disability housing accommodations.

 


3.

Pet (in a residence life atmosphere)


A “Pet” is an animal kept for ordinary use and companionship. A pet is not considered a Service Animal or an Emotional Support/Therapy Animal. Pets that bear fur, hair, or feathers, pose fear or danger, make noise, or are too large to be kept inside a 30-gallon tank are not permitted in residence halls – including animals who may be visiting temporarily. Fish in a 30-gallon tank or smaller are allowed without permission. Other pets must be approved by obtaining written permission of roommate(s), residents of adjoining rooms, and the approval the Animal Use Committee which will ascertain the owner‘s knowledge and ability to properly care for the animal. This request must be submitted to the Residence Life Office for approval.


4.

Conflicting Health Conditions


Residence Life staff will make a reasonable effort to notify tenants in the residence building where the approved animal will be located. Students with medical condition(s) that are affected by animals (e.g., respiratory diseases, asthma, severe allergies) are asked to contact Disability Services if they have a health or safety related concern about exposure to a Service Animal or Emotional Support/Therapy Animal. The University will also reasonably accommodate individuals with such medical conditions that require accommodation when living in proximity to Service Animals or Emotional Support/Therapy Animals. Staff members will consider the conflicting needs and/or accommodations of all persons involved.

 


5.

Student/Owner’s Responsibilities of Service Animals and Emotional Support/Therapy Animals in Residence Halls

 


A. Cumberland University is not responsible for the care or supervision of Service Animals or Emotional Support/Therapy animals. The approved student/owner is responsible for the cost, care, and supervision of the animal, including

1. Compliance with local laws pertaining to animal licensing, vaccination, and owner identification;

2. Keeping the animal under control and taking effective action when it is out of control;

3. All health issues relating to the animal (veterinary care for any illnesses and injuries that may occur on campus); and

4. Feeding and walking the animal, and disposing of its waste.

 

B. The Student/Owner is responsible for assuring that the approved animal (Service Animal or Emotional Support/Therapy Animal) does not unduly interfere with the routine activities of the residence hall or cause difficulties for persons who reside there.

 

C. Cumberland University will not require any surcharges or fees for Service Animals or Emotional Support/Therapy Animals. However, the student/owner with an approved animal may be charged for damage caused by the animal to the same extent that the University would normally charge a person for the damage they cause. The student/owner is financially responsible for the actions of the approved animal including bodily injury or property damage. This responsibility covers but is not limited to replacement of furniture, carpet, window, wall covering, and the like. The student/owner is expected to cover these costs at the time of repair and/or move-out.

 

D. The student/owner is responsible for any expenses incurred for cleaning above and beyond a standard cleaning or for repairs to residence hall premises that are assessed after the student/owner and animal vacate the residence. The University shall have the right to bill the personal account of the student/owner for unmet obligations.

 

E. The student/owner’s residence may be inspected for fleas, ticks or other pests once a semester or as needed. If fleas, ticks or other pests are detected through inspection, the residence will be treated using approved fumigation methods by a college-approved pest control service. The student/owner will be billed for the expense of any pest treatment above and beyond standard pest management in the residence halls.

 

F. All roommates or suitemates of the student/owner must sign an agreement allowing the approved animal to be in residence with them. In the event that one or more roommates or suitemates do not approve, either the student/owner and animal or the non-approving roommates or suitemates, as determined by the Residence Life office, may be moved to a different location.

 

G. Service Animals may travel with their student/owner throughout the Cumberland University campus except where service animals are specifically prohibited due to health, environmental, or safety hazards (e.g., certain research laboratories, mechanical rooms, and areas where protective clothing is necessary or areas where there is a danger to the animal).

 

H. Emotional Support/Therapy animals are not allowed to accompany persons with disabilities in public areas of Cumberland University as a service animal is granted through the ADA. However, an Emotional Support/Therapy animal may reside in a residence hall, and accompany the student/owner within common use areas of that specific residence hall and must be leashed/in a carrier at all times.  

I. This animal is not considered a pet and must be used by only the approved student/owner and not left in the care of any other student at any time.

J. Approved animals may not be left overnight in a Residence Hall to be cared for by another person. Animals must be taken with the student/owner if they leave campus for one or more nights.

 

K. Residence Life has the ability to relocate the student/owner and approved animal as necessary according to current contractual agreements.

 

L. The student/owner agrees to continue to abide by all other residential policies. Reasonable accommodation that may constitute an exception to a policy that otherwise would prohibit having an animal does not constitute an exception to any other policy.

 

M. Any violation of the above rules may result in immediate removal of the animal from the residence hall.  The student/owner will be afforded all rights of due process and appeal as outlined in that process. The University may exclude/remove an approved animal when

1. The animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, or

2. The animal’s presence results in a fundamental alteration of the University’s program, or

3. The person does not comply with Owner’s Responsibilities, or

4. The animal or its presence creates an unmanageable disturbance or interference with the Cumberland University community.  

 

N. In the event that restriction or removal of an assistance animal is determined to be necessary, the student/owner will still be given the opportunity to participate in the service, program, or activity without having the assistance animal present.

 

O. The Owner must notify Disability Services if the approved animal is no longer needed or is no longer in residence. To replace an approved animal the student/owner must submit notification and sign a new policies statement/agreement prior to procuring a new service animal.

 


6.

Guidelines for Maintaining a Service Animal or Emotional Support Animals at Cumberland University

 


The following guidelines apply to all approved animals and their student/owner, unless the nature of the documented disability of the student/owner precludes adherence to these guidelines, and permission for a variance from the guidelines has been granted.

 

Care and Supervision:

1. Care and supervision of the animal are the responsibility of the student/owner who benefits from the approved animal's use. The student/owner is required to maintain control of the animal at all times.  

2. All health issues relating to the animal (veterinary care for any illnesses and injuries that may occur on campus) are the responsibility of the student/owner.

3. The student/owner is also responsible for ensuring the cleanup of the animal's waste and, when appropriate, must toilet the animal in areas designated by the University consistent with the reasonable capacity of the student/owner. Indoor animal waste, should this accidentally occur, must be placed in a sturdy plastic bag and securely tied before being disposed of in an outside trash dumpsters. Waste disposal via residence hall plumbing is prohibited.

 

Animal Health and Well-being

1. Vaccination: In accordance with local ordinances and regulations, the animal must be immunized against diseases common to that type of animal. Dogs must have current vaccination against rabies and wear a rabies vaccination tag. The person should submit a copy of current vaccination records to the Disability Services office annually.

2. Health: Animals to be housed in a residence hall must have an annual clean bill of health from a licensed veterinarian. Documentation should include a vaccination certificate for the animal and a veterinarian's statement regarding the animal's health. The person should submit a copy of the veterinarian record to the Disability Services office annually.

3. Health: All health issues relating to the animal (veterinary care for any illnesses and injuries that may occur on campus) are the responsibility of the student/owner.

4. Leash/Carrier: The approved animal must be on a leash or carrier, unless the leash or carrier would inhibit the animal's ability to be of service or complete a specific task.

 

Other Conditions: Disability Services may place other reasonable conditions or restrictions on the animals depending on the nature and characteristics of the animal.

 


7.

Requirements for Faculty, Staff, Persons, and Other Members of the Cumberland University Community Regarding Service Animals on Campus

 


1. Allow a Service Animal to accompany the student/owner at all times on campus, except where service animals are specifically prohibited due to health, environmental, or safety hazards (e.g., certain research laboratories, mechanical rooms, custodial closets, areas where protective clothing is necessary, or areas where there is a danger to the animal).

2. Always speak to the student/owner first, remember, this animal is working and is not a pet.

3. Refrain from petting, feeding, or deliberately startling a Service Animal. Resist the temptation to offer treats to the Service Animal.

4. Refrain from inquiring about the student/owner’s disability. The nature of a person’s disability is a private matter.

5. Immediately report any disruptive behavior of a Service Animal to University Security at 615-476-3061. No attempt should be made to separate a student/owner from his or her Service Animal.


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Performance Evaluation
Performance Metrics: Compliance with standard policy and procedure
Compliance with federal mandate

Consequences: Fine
Further training
Loss of privileges
OCR visit

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Attachments
Service Animal Registration Form
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Emotional Support Animal Policy and Forms
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Documentation for Emotional Support Animal
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Subject Experts
The following may be consulted for additional information.
Dean of Students

Director of Counseling/Disability Services

Executive VP

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