I. Definition of Service Animals
- Pursuant to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), “Service Animals” are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for individuals with disabilities. In some cases, miniature horses may be permitted as a Service Animal, and while the procedures in this document primarily cover the use of dogs as Service Animals, such procedures would also be applied accordingly to the use of miniature horses on a case by case basis. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, do not meet the ADA’s definition of a service animal.
- The work or task that the service animal performs must be directly related to the individual’s disability. Examples of such work or tasks include, but are not limited to, guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties.
- Service animals are working animals, not pets. Dogs whose presence provide emotional support, companionship, or comfort, but that are not individually trained to do work or tasks in response to an individual’s disability, are not considered Service Dogs pursuant to federal guidelines. Students who feel they have a disability and believe they require an assistance animal for emotional support or comfort, should consult the Office of Disability Support Services, where such request will be reviewed.
II. Control of and Requirements of Service Animals and Owners
- Service dogs must be under effective control at all times. In general, the dog must be on a leash, harness, or other tether, unless the owner’s disability prevents its use or the use of one would interfere with the service animal’s ability to be of service. The service dog cannot harm or threaten others in the campus community, including faculty, staff, students, and guests. According to county regulations, service dogs must have required vaccinations and wear a valid rabies vaccination tag.
- The College may request updated verification of the service dog’s current vaccinations at any time. A service dog may be prohibited from college facilities or programs for numerous reasons, including by way of example and not limitation, if, in the determination of College representatives, the Service Dog’s behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, the Service Dog is out of control, the Service Dog does not meet hygiene standards required for the health and safety of others, and/or the Service Dog is not housebroken.
- Owners of Service Dogs are responsible for properly containing and disposing of all dog waste. The dog waste must be immediately retrieved by the owner, placed in a sturdy plastic bag and securely tied before disposing of in an outside trash receptacle. Owners must ensure that preventative measures are taken at all times for flea and odor control. Consideration of others must be taken into account when providing maintenance and hygiene to a Service Dog. Students will be liable for damage caused by Service Dogs in the same manner they are responsible for personal damages to College property.
III. Notification to Office of Disability Support Services
Individuals with service dogs who are using the College’s services or programs are required to notify the Office of Disability Support Services. Upon such notification to Disability Support Services (DSS), a DSS representative will meet with the student and review the Service Animal policy and procedure with the requesting individual.
IV. Additional Documentation Requested by College
- When the need for a service animal is not readily apparent, the College may request additional information as follows:
- Is the Service Dog a service animal required because of a disability?
- What work or task has the Service Dog been trained to perform for the benefit of the requesting individual?
- The College is limited to the two inquiries listed above.
V. Other Issues
Employees who have questions on service animals or wish to make a request to have a Service Dog at work should contact Human Resources.
Service Dogs accompanying individuals with disabilities are welcome in all areas of campus that are open to the public, unless such dog has been restricted due to the reasons outlined earlier in this procedure.
- Public Etiquette by Students/Staff/Faculty/AdministratorsService Dogs are working animals and are not pets. Members of the Kaskaskia College community and visitors are required to adhere to the following guidelines when interacting with Service Dogs. Individuals ARE NOT PERMITTED TO:
- Assume that the Service Dog is a pet
- Pet/touch a Service Dog, as this may distract the dog from their responsibilities.
- Restrict the individual and the Service Dog from full participation in programs and activities of the College. This includes off campus activities and activities involving transportation.
- Assume the handler may have a visible disability. Do not make assumptions about the necessity of the Service Dog.
- Ask the handler about their specific medical condition.
- Prioritize the needs of another individual over the needs of an individual with a Service Dog. For example, College staff or faculty cannot restrict the access of a Service Dog fearing another member of the community may have an allergy.
- Feed a Service Dog
- Deliberately startle, tease, or taunt a Service Dog
VI. Other Considerations
- Allergies, Asthma and Other Medical Conditions
Allergic reactions to animals are common. Persons who have asthma, allergies, or other medical conditions affected by the presence of animals are asked to contact the Disability Support Service Offices. The person impacted by the presence of the animal must provide verifiable medical documentation to support the claim. The needs of both individuals will be considered in resolving the issue.
VII. Any person that does not adhere to the policy and/or procedures will be considered as to be in violation of the Code of Conduct. Any questions or concerns should be directed to the Office of the Vice President of Student Services. For more information regarding the federal laws pertaining to service animals, please see the following website: http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm