Service Animal Guidelines

Service animals are trained to assist people with disabilities in the activities of independent living.

The Americans with Disabilities Act, Amended (ADAAA, 2009) defines service animals as any dogs or miniature horses that are individually trained to perform work or tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. This includes, but is not limited to, physical, sensory, psychiatric, and intellectual disabilities. A service animal does not have to be licensed or certified by a state or local government or a training program. Federal, state, and local laws require that a modification be made to a “No Pet” policy to permit the use of a service animal by an individual with a disability, unless doing so would result in an unreasonable financial or administrative burden.

A person with a disability may use a service animal as an auxiliary aid. Service animals are not considered pets and do not need to wear special identification, tags, harnesses, or capes. However, the animal must be leashed at all times while on campus.

Eligibility

In determining whether an animal qualifies as a service animal, CCBC employees may ask:
  1. Whether the animal is required due to a disability
  2. What specific work or tasks the animal has been trained to perform
Animals that provide assistance or emotional support to a person with a disability but are not individually trained for the purpose of providing access to the educational environment do not meet the definition of service animal. These animals are considered to be comfort, assistance, or support animals, and they are generally not permitted. Determination of eligibility for the accommodation of a comfort animal will be considered on a case-by-case basis based on the documentation provided by the student.

Supervision of service and comfort animals

A service or comfort animal must be supervised and the handler must retain full control of the animal at all times. If a service or comfort animal is unruly, disruptive (barking, biting, jumping on people, urinating, or defecating, etc.) or if the handler is lacking control, a Public Safety Officer may request that the handler remove the animal from the area until the handler can regain control. If the improper behavior continues or happens repeatedly, the handler will be asked to take significant steps to mitigate the animal’s behavior. The handler is responsible for all costs related to damages created by the service or comfort animal. Costs include fees for clean-up and disposal of animal waste or replacement and repair of college property. If the animal is removed, the individual with a disability shall be given the opportunity to participate in the service, program, or activity without the service or comfort animal.

Guidelines for service animals on campus

  • The college will permit a service animal to accompany the individual with a disability to all areas of the campuses unless its presence or behavior creates a fundamental alteration or direct threat to safety. An individual with a service animal shall be included in all college activities.
  • In determining whether an animal qualifies as a service animal, college employees may only ask whether the animal is required due to a disability and what specific work or tasks the animal has been trained to perform.
  • Touching and distracting the service animal should be avoided. Petting a service animal when the animal is working distracts the animal from the task at hand.
  • The service animal should not be fed by anyone other than the handler because the animal may have specific dietary requirements. Unusual food or food at an unexpected time may cause the animal to become ill.
  • Individuals using a service animal are expected to maintain the animal’s cleanliness and hygiene, in consideration of others in the campus community.
  • Startling the animal or trying to separate a service animal from the handler is prohibited.
  • Service animals are restricted to dogs and miniature horses.

Miniature horses as service animals

The ADAAA includes miniature horses as service animals. In compliance with ADAAA, CCBC shall make reasonable modifications to permit the use of a miniature horse if the horse has been trained to work or perform a task. This decision should be based on the following assessment factors:

This decision should be based on the following assessment factors:
  1. Type, size and weight of horse and whether facility can accommodate them.
  2. Whether the individual has sufficient control of the animal.
  3. If the horse is housebroken.
  4. If the horse will compromise legitimate safety requirements for safe operation of the facility.

For more information, please contact: Disability Support Services Office at 443.840.1741 or the appropriate campus Disability Support Services Office.