Lewis and Clark College Assistance Animal Policy
Lewis and Clark College enforces a no-pet policy in its residence halls, College-owned apartments, and campus facilities. Exceptions are made under certain conditions for therapy and assistance animals and fish in approved aquariums.
The College reserves the right to enforce all relevant rules for the use of therapy and assistance animals through the student conduct code. The College also reserves the right to revoke permission granted for the campus presence of any therapy or assistance animal whose owner fails to follow the requirements set forth in this procedure.
Requests for therapy and assistance animals in College housing will be reviewed under the College’s policy. Requests that do not demonstrate the necessity of the animal to afford the owner with an equal opportunity to enjoy their dwelling will be denied.
Service Animals and Service Animals in Training
A “service animal” is a dog (or under certain circumstances, a miniature horse) individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. Service animals include, but are not limited to, guide dogs for the blind, hearing dogs for the deaf/hard of hearing, and service animals for people with physical disabilities and seizure disorders. Service animals/service dogs are not considered “pets” and are explicitly permitted under state and federal civil rights laws. The College may require documentation that an animal used in campus facilities, or any College Housing facilities is a service animal that falls under the protections of federal and state laws. Service animals in training must be appropriately marked.
A “therapy animal” is an animal owned by a therapist and selected to play an integral part of a person’s treatment process that demonstrates a good temperament and reliable, predictable behavior. A therapy animal is prescribed to an individual with a disability by a healthcare or mental health professional. A therapy animal is not a service animal, and unlike a service animal, a therapy animal does not assist a person with a disability with activities of daily living, nor does it accompany a person with a disability at all times.
An assistance animal is one that is necessary to afford the person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy College housing. An assistance animal may provide physical assistance, emotional support, calming, stability and other kinds of assistance. Assistance Animals do not perform work or tasks that would qualify them as “service animals” under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Assistance animals that are not service animals under the ADA may still be permitted, in certain circumstances, in College housing pursuant to the Fair Housing Act.
Requirements of Animals and User/Owners
Student Support Services (SSS) serves as the campus authority for the approval for students requesting a service, therapy or assistance animal. Students who request to bring therapy or assistance animals to campus, must submit appropriate documentation of their disability to Student Support Services and must do so prior to the arrival of the animal on campus. SSS will gather and assess evidence as necessary from the diagnostician/therapist that the therapy or assistance animal is necessary as a reasonable program modification to provide the owner with an equal opportunity to enjoy their dwelling and, if permission is granted, will notify Campus Housing of this request. Requests that lack evidence of the animal’s necessity to the student will be denied by SSS.
- Individuals with disabilities using therapy or assistance animals are responsible for their animals at all times and must comply with the following requirements:
- The user/owner must have completed the requirements outlined in this procedure.
- The user/owner must register the therapy or companion animal by completing the Animal Registration form included in these procedures.
- The user/owner of the animal must be in full control of the animal at all times. The animal should respond to voice or hand commands at all times.
- The user/owner must ensure that animals are on a leash at all times when the animal is outside of the student’s residence hall room. The user/owner must take responsibility for the behavior of the animal in private and public places, and for due care and diligence in the use of the animal on campus.
- To the extent possible, the animal should be unobtrusive to other individuals and the learning, living, and working environment.
- The user/owner is responsible for any property damage caused by the animal.
- The user/owner must clean up after the animal, including the sanitary disposal of animal wastes.
- Use of the animal shall not constitute a direct threat to the health and safety of others.
- The user/owner must ensure that dogs are licensed in accordance with state and county regulations and wear a valid vaccination tag.
- The user/owner is responsible for the health of the animal and must provide verification from a qualified veterinarian that all vaccinations appropriate for that type of animal are current. Additionally, there must be proof that the animal is without parasites (including but not limited to fleas, hookworms, round worms, etc.) through certification of a qualified veterinarian.
- If an owner/user obtains a new/different therapy or assistance animal to be used under the provisions of this procedure the new/different therapy or assistance must be registered with SSS.
Exclusion of Therapy and Assistance Animals
- Therapy or assistance animals are permitted in the residence hall in which the student resides, but not in other buildings on campus.
- A therapy or assistance animal may be excluded from a facility if that animal poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others, or conflicts with a service animal.
- A therapy or assistance animal may be excluded from a facility, if that animal’s behavior, such as barking or displaying aggressive behavior, is disruptive to the other participants within the facility.
- A therapy or assistance animal will be excluded from a facility where the animal is prohibited due to safety or health restrictions, where the animal may be in danger, or where the animal’s use will compromise the integrity of research or other programs.
Conflicts over the use of Therapy and Assistance Animals
The use of assistance animals may negatively affect others with allergies, respiratory impairments and other relevant disabling conditions. Conflict resolution will be managed by Student Support Services. Evidence of disability and its impact may be required of those negatively affected by the use of the qualified animals.
In the event of an emergency, the animal may become disoriented from the smell of smoke, from sirens, or from shaking and moving ground. The owner/handler may be confused from the stressful situation. Emergency Response Team (ERT) should be aware that animals may try to be protective, and in its confusion, is not to be automatically considered harmful. Every effort should be made by ERT to keep the animal and the owner/handler together; however, ERT’s first effort should be toward the owner/handler, which may necessitate leaving the animal behind in certain emergency evacuation situations.
Student Support Services Grievance policy can be reviewed through the department website: lclark.edu/offices/student_support_services/right