Guidance and Recommendations for Faculty and Staff Regarding Service Animals

 

Originally Issued: May 14, 2018

Athens State University is committed to providing a safe and healthy instructional environment and workplace to meet the needs of employees, students, and citizens of the community.

A service animal is defined by the American’s with Disabilities Act as a dog or miniature horse individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. A service animal is not a pet and you should not touch or interact with the service animal. The Accessibility Services Office will provide an identifying tag for the animal’s collar to indicate the animal is permitted on University property.

If the service animal’s purpose is apparent (i.e., a guide dog for an individual without sight), you should not ask the individual using the animal any questions about the use of the animal. You may discuss issues surrounding the use of the animal, such as seating of or breaks for the animal. If it is not clear that an animal is needed for a disability, you may only ask two questions of an individual with a service animal:

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

If issues persist concerning the animal, you should contact Accessibility Services to resolve them. Remember, inquiring about the animal can be interpreted as an inquiry about an individual’s disability. No student or employee should be required to disclose their disability in order work or study at the University.

Requirements for Service Animals

  1. Providing appropriate restraint, control, and supervision of animals at all times. In most cases, this means the service animal should be on a leash or harness. If the handler is unable to use a harness or leash due to the handler’s disability, the service animal must be otherwise under the handler’s control. If the service animal is not under the control of the handler, the University reserves the right to have the service animal removed. If you are concerned about the control of the animal, contact Accessibility Services with questions.
  1. If the animal displays out of control behavior, then you may inform the individual that the service animal must be removed from the room or activity. After doing so, you should contact Accessibility Services to determine a long term plan of action concerning the animal. Never separate the service animal from the individual with the disability. You must permit the individual to continue to participate without the animal’s assistance if the individual chooses.
  1. The animal must be “housebroken” and the individual using the animal is responsible for cleaning up after the animal. The individual must clean up and dispose of all animal waste (both indoors and outdoors) in a timely and effective fashion. If the animal is not housebroken or the animal becomes sick, you may ask the individual to remove the animal and to clean up after the animal. Again, you must permit the individual to continue to participate without the animal’s assistance if the individual chooses.
  1. The animal must wear current identification and vaccination tags when applicable. In accordance with Code of Alabama 3-7A-3, the animal must be immunized against disease common to that type of animal.

 

Contact Information

Juliana Cislo, Accessibility Services Specialist
Located on the ground floor of McCandless Hall, Room 16
Juliana.Cislo@athens.edu
256-233-8143