URP: IV.13.g Animals on Campus

Policy Statement:

 

Texas Woman’s University (TWU) is committed to providing a healthy and safe environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors by managing the presence of animals on university property and in its facilities, while providing people with disabilities who use service and assistance animals the opportunity to receive the benefit of the tasks these animals provide or the therapeutic support they offer in accordance with the requirements of federal law.

 

Animals are generally not permitted in TWU buildings with some exceptions, such as service animals, service animals in training, and assistance animals determined to be a reasonable accommodation by Disability Services for Students (DSS). The information below is intended to help students, employees, and visitors understand the difference between various kinds of animals, where they are permitted, and when they may be removed.

I.Definitions

 

1.Accommodations

Accommodations are reasonable modifications or adjustments that enable individuals  with disabilities  to  have  an  equal  opportunity  to  participate  in  an  academic  program or job responsibilities.  Broad categories of accommodations include:  changes  that enable a student with a  disability  to  perform  the  essential  functions  of  the  academic program, or  changes  that enable a student with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of the program.

 

2.Assistance Animals

A category of animals that may work, provide assistance, or perform physical tasks for an individual with a disability and/or provide necessary emotional support to an individual with a mental or psychiatric disability that alleviates one or more identified symptoms of an individual’s disability, but which are not considered service animals under the ADAAA.  This category includes: Emotional support animals, comfort animals, companion animals.

Note: Assistance Animals are distinguished from service animals in that they have not been individually trained.

3.Handler/User

An individual who is the owner or trainer of a service animal, or the  owner of an assistance animal on university property.

 

4.Person with a disability

A person who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially  limits  one  or  more  major  life  activities;  who  has a record of such impairment; or who is regarded as having such an impairment.

5.Pet

 A domesticated or tamed animal that is kept as a companion.  On-campus residents are not permitted to keep pets, other than fish, in university residence halls.

6.Program (Therapy) Animals

Any type of animal that has been screened to behave appropriately when interacting with people in places where pets are traditionally not allowed and whose participation in a University service program has been approved by a Department Head, Director or Vice President.

7.Service Animal

A dog, or in rare situations, a miniature horse, that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability including a  physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.  Other species of  animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a  wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors.

 

Note: The State of Texas permits Service Animals in Training to have access to the same areas as trained service animals as long as they are accompanied by an approved trainer.

 

*State of Texas Code Sec.121.003 (i) A service animal in training shall not be denied admittance to any public facility when accompanied by an approved trainer.

8.Therapy Animal

A dog that holds a current registration or certification, is on an animal-assisted therapy team with a qualified university employee and is being used in an official university program or service for a university purpose.

 

II. Service Animals

Disabled individuals may be accompanied by their service dogs on all areas of TWU campuses, unless the presence of the service dog would be a fundamental alteration of the program or service.

Departments, instructors, and employees should not determine if a service dog is a fundamental alteration without consulting DSS.

Service dogs do not need to be approved by DSS as a reasonable accommodation. A service animal identification, vest or harness is not required.

See the section on Owner Responsibilities and Removal of Animals for more information.

Questions University Faculty/Staff Can Ask

The University is only permitted to ask the following questions to determine if a dog is a service dog:

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

If an individual answers yes to the first question and identifies work or a task that the dog performs, University faculty/staff should not ask any subsequent questions. If an individual answers no to the first question or does not identify work or a task, the animal could be a service animal in training, assistance animal, therapy animal, or pet. Review the sections on these animals for additional information.

Service Animals in Training

In Texas, disabled individuals and trainers may take dogs being trained as service dogs to public places for training purposes to the same extent as service dogs that are already trained. In addition, individuals with disabilities may request to be accompanied by service dogs in training.

See the section on Owner Responsibilities and Removal of Animals for more information.

III. Program (Therapy) Animals

The presence of a program animal(s) at TWU must be approved by the Department Head or the Director of the unit that is hosting the program or event in which the program animal is involved. This approval does not extend to buildings or facilities that the Department Head or Director does not oversee. A program animal is not required to wear an identification vest or harness.

See the section on Owner Responsibilities and Removal of Animals for more information.

Questions University Faculty/Staff Can Ask

If University faculty/staff have determined an animal is not a service animal, service animal in training, or assistance animal, faculty/staff can ask the following question to determine if an animal is a program animal:

  1. Has the presence of this animal and its participation in a service program been approved by a Department Head or Director?

University faculty/staff may ask which Department Head has provided approval and contact the Department Head for verification. If an individual answers no, this animal is likely a pet. Review the pets section for additional information.

See the section on Owner Responsibilities and Removal of Animals for more information.

IV. Assistance Animals

Students must request to use an assistance animal in housing, classrooms, or other buildings/facilities as a reasonable accommodation through the Disability Services for Students (DSS).

  • Students who are not currently registered with DSS should complete an online DSS application. Once the forms are submitted, a DSS staff member will contact the student to schedule an appointment.
  • Registered DSS students should contact their assigned DSS Coordinator.
  • Students are required to submit the Emotional Service Animal Request Form.

DSS will make a determination on a case-by-case basis about whether the presence of the assistance animal is reasonable and may consider the following factors, among others:

  • Whether the size of the animal is too large for a space, such as available assigned housing;
  • Whether the animal’s vaccinations are up-to date;
  • Whether the animal’s presence would force another individual from individual housing or another location (e.g. serious allergies);
  • Whether the animal’s presence in housing otherwise violates individuals’ rights to peace and quiet enjoyment;
  • Whether the animal causes or has caused excessive damages to housing or other property beyond reasonable wear and tear;
  • Whether the animal poses or has posed in the past a direct threat to individuals or other animals such as aggressive behavior or injuring an individual or other animal

Disclosing Information About Assistance Animals

As part of the process of determining whether an assistance animal is reasonable, DSS may disclose the request to individuals such as roommates, who may be impacted by the presence of an assistance animal, e.g. because of animal allergies.

Additionally, if it is determined that it is reasonable for an individual to have an assistance animal as an accommodation, DSS may disclose this information to others who may be impacted by the presence of the assistance animal (e.g., Housing and Residence Life staff, potential and/or actual roommate(s) or neighbors). This information will be shared with the intent of preparing for the presence of the assistance animal or resolving any potential issues associated with the assistance animal.

Approved assistance animals are not required to wear an identification vest or harness.

If DSS finds the presence of an assistance animal reasonable in one location, e.g., housing, this does not mean it is reasonable for an individual to take the animal to other University buildings/facilities, e.g. the Library, classrooms, or athletic events.

See the section on Owner Responsibilities and Removal of Animals for more information.

Questions University Faculty/Staff Can Ask

If University faculty/staff have determined an animal is not a service animal or service animal in training, faculty/staff can ask the following question to determine if an animal is an assistance animal:

  1. Has DSS determined that this animal is an assistance animal that may be present as a reasonable accommodation?

If an individual answers yes, University faculty/staff should not ask any subsequent questions, but may contact DSS at (940) 898-3835 to verify the information. If an individual answers no, this animal could be a therapy animal or pet. Review the sections on these animals for additional information.

If the individual answers no, but would like the animal to be considered an assistance animal, University faculty/staff should refer the person to DSS at (940) 898-3835.

See the section on Owner Responsibilities and Removal of Animals for more information.

V.  Pets

Pets are only permitted in outdoor, public areas of TWU. Pets are not permitted in TWU buildings or facilities or at TWU events except on designated days.

 

See the section on Owner Responsibilities and Removal of Animals for more information.

VI. Owner Responsibilities and Removal of Animals

 

The University is not responsible for the custody or care of a service dog, service dog in training, assistance animal (emotional support animal), or program animal.

Owners/handlers must:

  • Be in control of their animals at all times, e.g. not allow the animal to run at large, bark, growl, snap, lunge, or bite.
  • Keep animals in a carrier or controlled by a leash or harness, with the following exceptions: 1) when an animal is in the owner’s room in University Housing; 2) If an individual’s disability precludes the use of a restraint or 3) if a service dog needs to be off leash to do its job (e.g., a dog trained to enter a space to check if there are threats and then return and signal to an owner that it is safe to enter).
  • Clean up after and properly dispose of animal waste in a safe and sanitary manner.
  • Be responsible for the cost of any damages caused by the animal.
  • Follow city, county, and state ordinances/laws or regulations pertaining to licensing, vaccination, and other requirements for animals.

Owners/handlers may be required to follow additional requirements in particular settings, e.g., University Housing, classrooms, or the work environment.

University faculty/staff may ask that animals be removed from campus under the following circumstances:

  • The animal is in a University building and does not meet the definition of a service dog, service dog in training, assistance animal (emotional support animal), or program animal.
  • The animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others or causes substantial property damage.
  • The animal or its presence creates an unmanageable disturbance or interference with the University community.
  • The animal’s presence results in a fundamental alteration of a University program.
  • An owner/handler does not comply with the responsibilities listed above.

Depending on the circumstances, an animal may be excluded from campus on a permanent basis.

For service dogs, unless there is a threat to health or safety, University faculty/staff should provide the individual an opportunity to bring the dog under control. For more information about service dogs or assistance animals, please contact DSS at (940) 898-3835.

If an owner/handler refuses to remove an animal from a TWU building or authorized event, University faculty/staff may request assistance from the building manager or the individual(s) in charge of the event.

If there is an issue concerning safety due to an animal, contact the Texas Woman's University Department of Public Safety at 940-898-2911.  If an individual believes the removal or exclusion of a service dog or assistance animal was in violation of the ADA or other law/policy, they may contact the University’s ADA Coordinator at 940.898.3615 to review that decision or file a complaint with the Office of Civility and Community.

 

 

 

Details

Article ID: 40119
Created
Wed 10/4/17 4:56 PM
Modified
Tue 1/12/21 10:19 AM