Service Animal Policy/ Guidelines

The Community College of Baltimore County
Disability Support Services

Service Animal Policy/Guidelines


Service animals are animals 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 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.

The following are examples of service animals:

  • Guide Animal: Trained to serve as a travel tool by a person who is legally blind.
  • Hearing Animal: Trained to alert a person with significant hearing loss or one who is deaf of the occurrence of a sound, such as knocking on a door.
  • Seizure Response Animal: Trained to assist a person with a seizure disorder. Depending on the person’s needs, the animal may seek help or stand guard over the person during a seizure.
  • Service animals that are trained to assist a person who has a mobility or health related disability by carrying, fetching, opening doors, ringing doorbells and activating elevator buttons.


The individual with the service animal must have a documented disability and must provide a recommendation from an evaluator which states that the service animal would meet the individual’s accommodation needs in an educational environment. The individual shall identify the work or task the animal has been trained to perform. Determination of eligibility is handled on a case by case basis.

Supervision of Service Animals

A service animal must be supervised and the handler must retain full control of the animal at all times. If a service 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 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Employees and students should follow established CCBC procedures for requesting accommodations, which may include the use of service animals.
  • Persons responsible for planning and implementing CCBC events and activities open to the public must provide accommodations for the person with a service animal. The person must notify the designated campus that a service animal will be present. This gives the campus the opportunity to provide designated seating for the person with enough room for the service animal.

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:

  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.

CCBC Catonsville (800 South Rolling Road, Baltimore, MD 21228)
Disability Support Services- K Building, Room 200;
Telephone/TTY: (443) 840-5617

CCBC Dundalk (7200 Sollers Point Rd, Baltimore, MD 21222)
Disability Support Services- A Building, Room 100;
Telephone: (443) 840-3774 or (443) 840-3529 (TTY)

CCBC Essex (7201 Rossville Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21237)
Disability Support Services- A Building, Room 210;
Telephone: (443) 840-1741 or (443) 840-1601 (TTY) 7-6-11

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