Service Animal

A Service Animal (SA) is defined as a dog that is trained to do work or perform a specific task for a person with a disability. Only two questions may be asked of an individual with a service animal:

  • Is there a disability?
  • Is the animal trained to complete a specific task/duty?

Service Animals do not have a breed restriction and cannot be required to be spayed or neutered.

a German Shepherd dog a Collie dog a Rottweiler dog a Golden Retriever dog

Legally, individuals with service animals are not required to register their animals; therefore, neither SAAS nor any campus department keeps documentation/record of service animals. SAs are not required to wear a vest or be leashed.

Handlers must retain good control over the animal, and the animal must be well behaved. Service animals should not growl, lunge, or be disruptive.

Service animals living on campus must complete the Residence process.

For questions or concerns regarding service animals, please contact SAAS at

Emotional Support Animal

An emotional support/comfort/therapy animal (ESA) is any animal that provides emotional support, well-being, or companionship that helps symptoms of a person’s disability, such as anxiety or depression. The ESA is not individually trained. Instead, it offers support just by being present for the person with a disability.

a ferret a rabbit a cat a bearded dragon

The process to register an emotional support animal (ESA) is listed below.

ESA Approval Process

  1. Complete the online Student Information Form.
  2. Submit to SAAS signed documentation on professional letterhead from a qualified professional who is currently treating you. Email the documentation
  3. The letter must include:
    • your name.
    • your diagnosis.
    • what the animal is (i.e. dog, cat, rabbit, etc.).
    • a nexus (connection) between your treatment plan and ESA.
  4. Once the correct documentation has been received, SAAS will email Housing & Residence Life and you confirming the appropriate documentation is on file.
  5. Complete the Housing & Residence Life process.

ESAs are to be well behaved (no loud noises, biting, etc.) You are allowed only ONE ESA. If the ESA is a dog or a cat, the animal must be spayed/neutered and have all vaccinations before it is allowed on campus. The Housing & Residence Life process must be completed prior to bring the ESA.

Please be advised: If you bring your ESA to your residence before you have received approval from Housing & Residence Life, you will be subject to fines and/or removal of the animal.

Only approved Emotional Support Animals (ESA) are allowed in Residence housing.  ESAs are not allowed in other campus buildings, including classroom buildings, Berns Student Center, and the Library.