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Service and Assistance Animal Policy

Temple University recognizes the need for students with a disability to use trained service animals and assistance animals. Students who require the use of service animals are encouraged to discuss specific needs and services with DRS professional staff and Resident Directors prior to starting classes.

A "service animal" is defined as any animal specifically trained to perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. This includes, but is not limited to, guiding persons with restricted vision, alerting those who have hearing loss to the presence of intruders, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items.

An “assistance animal” is any animal that is specifically designated by a qualified medical provider as affording an individual with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling, provided there is a link between the individual’s disability and the assistance the animal provides. Assistance animals include “emotional support” or “therapy animals.” Unlike service animals, assistance animals are not trained to perform work or tasks, and they include species other than dogs and miniature horses.

To apply for use of either a Service or Assistance Animal, students need to log into MyHousing system and in the Quick List students should apply for Housing for Students with a Disability.  In addition to this request, students will also be required to submit a Service or Assistance Animal Guideline and Agreement Form to specify what animal they need as part of their Housing with Students with a Disability request.  Once this request is approved, the Office of University Housing will follow up to review policies and procedures with regards to Service and Assistance Animals.

Student Responsibilities:
A service animal, assistance animal or pet must be personally supervised by the handler, and the handler must retain full control of the animal at all times while on university property, except for service or assistance animals left in the handler’s college residence by the handler. The animal may only be left unattended in the residence hall for reasonable periods of time, as determined by the Director of Residence Life or their designee. An assistance or service animal left for longer than a reasonable period of time may be impounded at the direction of the Director of Residential Life or their designee. A handler who leaves his or her service or assistance animal unattended for longer than a reasonable period of time will receive one warning, and if the behavior occurs a second time, the handler may be required to remove the animal from campus and prohibited from bringing the animal back onto university property.

Animals may not be tied or tethered to any university property, including but not limited to buildings, railings, bike racks, fire hydrants, fences, sign posts, benches and trees, and may not be allowed to run loose anywhere on campus. Animals must not be allowed to disrupt or interfere with college activities including, but not limited to, teaching, research, service or administrative activities. If the animal is unruly or disruptive, or if the handler fails to maintain control of the animal, the handler must regain control immediately or remove the animal from university property. If the improper behavior continues or happens more than once, the handler may be prohibited from bringing the animal onto university property, to be determined on a case-by-case basis by the Director of Campus Safety Services, or the applicable department/program chair responsible for the area, as most appropriate.

In the event an animal is prohibited from residence halls or campus, the university will engage as needed in a good faith process with the individual to determine if other accommodations will effectively allow the individual to participate in the program, service, or activity. University personnel shall not be required to provide care or food for any assistance animal, including, but not limited to, removing the animal during emergency evacuation for events such as a fire alarm. Emergency personnel will determine whether to remove the animal and may not be held responsible for the care, damage to, or loss of the animal. Additionally, assistance animals may not be left overnight in university housing to be cared for by any individual other than the owner. If the owner is to be absent from their residence hall overnight or longer, the animal must accompany the owner.  The owner will also be required to designate a third party as an emergency contact to care for the animal in the event the owner is unable to do so because of a medical, or other emergency.

All handlers are responsible for compliance with state and local laws concerning animals (including registration, vaccinations, and tags), for controlling their animals, for cleaning up any waste created by the animal, and for any damage caused by the animal to persons or property while on university property. This includes fees for clean-up and disposal of animal waste or replacement and repair of college or other individuals’ assets, including grounds, personal property and improvements, and the remediation of flea infestation. If the handler fails to clean up after the animal or the animal causes damage to property, the handler may be prohibited from bringing the animal onto university property. Handlers must sign the form entitled “Service and Assistance Animal Guidelines and Agreement” prior to residing in the residence hall with the animal. The form will be maintained by the Director of Residential Life or their designee.

Residential students who use service or assistance animals should meet with their building’s Resident Director before the start of the semester to discuss procedures for appropriate management.  The university reserves the right to request and obtain proper documentation to ensure compliance with these requirements.