General information

The University of Dayton Office of Housing and Residence Life have a No Pet Policy.  Service animals and emotional support animals may be a reasonable accommodation to this policy; however, the student will need to work with the Office of Learning Resources for this accommodation. 

There are a variety of different ways an animal may be used by a student with a disability.  In order to be considered for a service or emotional support animal, supporting documentation must be submitted including documentation of a disability and the disability-related need for the animal.  The information must answer the questions specific to the type of animal requested.

All animals are the responsibility of their handlers and should be under their control (in proximity to the handler and responsive to commands, in harness, leashed or in a carrier).  An animal’s behavior is considered the handler’s behavior; the animal will be held to the same basic standard of conduct as their handlers.  If they are disruptive to university business or community behavioral expectations for educational, medical and residential environments handlers may be asked to correct the animal’s behavior or remove it from the environment.  

Service Animals

Service animals are animals trained to assist people with disabilities in the activities of normal living. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) definition of service animals as “any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability….” The regulations specifically provide that “… [O]there species of animals whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals….” Further, the regulation clarifies that “… emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks.”  See ADA Regulations Section 35.104>>.  

Under the ADA, service animals are allowed to accompany people with disabilities in all areas where the student is normally allowed to go. 

A student with a service animal should submit information to the Office of Learning Resources (OLR) that will answer the following:

  • What is the formal diagnosis based on DSM-IV or ICD-10 guidelines with associated codes for which the animal is being requested?
  • What work or tasks is the animal trained to perform?

Emotional Support Animals

Emotional Support animals are not considered service animals by the ADA Regulations published by the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. Emotional Support animals have additional restrictions regarding where they can be utilized.  These restrictions are addressed through Department of Housing and Urban Development.

An emotional support animal provides a person with therapeutic contact to improve physical, social, emotional, and/or cognitive functioning.   In the residential setting an approved emotional support animal is allowed, when under the control of its handler, in the handler’s room or common spaces within the residence.  Emotional support animals approved for the residential setting are not permitted in other buildings.  

A student who is requesting an emotional support animal should submit information to the Office of Learning Resources (OLR) that will answer the following:

  • What is the formal diagnosis based on DSM-IV or ICD-10 guidelines with associated codes for which the animal is being requested?
  • How will the animal mitigate the symptoms of the condition identified above specific to this student

Service Animals in Training

Service Animals in Training are not recognized by federal law but are recognized by Ohio Revised Code 955.43.  Service Animals in Training must have a liability insurance policy provided by the nonprofit agency sponsoring the training.  Typically puppy rearing (less than six months of age) focused on socialization and general obedience training is not considered Service Animal training.  University of Dayton has partnered with 4 Paws for Ability which is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to place quality service dogs and educate the public regarding use of service dogs in public places.  As part of this process, our students will be part of the socialization aspect within the 4 Paws program.

In the Spring of each academic year, the Office of Learning Resources in conjunction with the UD 4 Paws Student Organization will hold informational meetings about the options for involvement with the 4 Paws program on University of Dayton campus.  Following these information meetings, the on-line application will be opened and teams can apply to become a handler for a 4 Paws dog.  Because there are limited number of animals available, Office of Learning Resources in conjunction with the UD 4 Paws Student Organization Leadership will conduct team interviews.  Because of the limited number of handler teams, students will also be identified for the sitter role which can provide support for the approved handler teams.

The following are general guidelines for those interested in becoming handlers:

  • Handles must be able to commit to involvement for the entire academic semester.
  • Handler must commit to attending the meeting schedule set by 4 Paws (monthly meetings while a handler) and the University of Dayton Staff Coordinator.
  • Handler must agree to the clauses of the 4 Paws Foster Home Contract and abide by all stipulations regarding appropriate use of supplies; health; house manners and care; training; travel; and socialization
  • Handler must agree to the Guidelines and Check List for Maintaining an Approved Animal at the University of Dayton.
  • Handler must be of either junior or senior in good academic and good conduct standing.
  • Handler cannot live in a residence hall or a fraternity or sorority house.
  • If the Handler lives in a property that is not owned by UD, the handler must have the permission of his/her landlord

following are general guidelines when working with a 4 Paws animal:

  • The dog must wear (or have visible) their 4 Paws vest and identifying tags while in public
  • Handler must always clean up after the dog and must maintain the hygiene of the dog (e.g. odor)
  • Handler must have complete command over the dog at all times and maintain the dog on a leash when in public
  • Dogs must never be chained out in the yard at any time
  • Handler must maintain use of the dog crate while dog is in Handler's care
  • Dogs may only sleep in homes designated by a "home visit" by 4 Paws

In the academic environment

  • Handler need to inform professors before taking the dog to class
  • Individuals may not interact with a service training dog until approved by the Handler; however, because the goal of the program is socialization, it is recommended that you allow this whenever it is appropriate.

Presently the current academic year handler teams have been identified.  To sign up for future notifications of sitter and handler options, please feel free to sign up for our information email list.

To learn more about 4 Paws, please visit their website >>

Request Process (Service & Emotional Support Animal)

If you are seeking approval for a service animal or support-animal-in-training, you need to contact the Office of Learning Resources.  As part of this process you will need to meet with OLR Disability Staff and complete the accommodation request form available online.  This form can only be completed one time.  If you have completed this form for other accommodations, the information will be reviewed during the meeting with OLR Disability Staff.

Initial Accommodation Request form>>

Once a determination has been made, you will be notified in writing.  If you live in campus housing, the Office of Housing and Residence Life will also communicate with you regarding the "Guidelines and Check List for Maintaining an Approved Animal at University of Dayton" which must be completed by you and/or your roommates before the animal can be brought on campus.  

The Office of Learning Resources also requests you to send a photo of the animal with your name, student id and animal name in the email.

Please keep the following items in mind:

  • Animal license verification is based on your state of primary residency.  For example, the state of Ohio requires all doges be licensed in the county of residence.  In Missouri, residences must license cats, dogs and ferrets.  Please check your state for animal license requirements.  It is the students responsibility to ensure their animal meets the license requirements.
  • Ohio law does not require rabies vaccination of dogs unless the dog has bitten someone and no proof of rabies vaccination is available. However, it is important for you to ensure your animal remains in good health.  It is recommended that you speak with your vet regarding the recommended vaccinations and overall health of your animal.  Rabies is a fatal disease for which there is no cure.

Request Process (Service-Animal-In-Training)

If you are interested in becoming a handler for a service-animal-in-training you can learn more about this program through the 4Paws and their Puppy Raiser program.  
To learn more about 4 Paws, please visit their website >>

UD students interested in becoming a Handler must apply for the program at the Office of Learning Resources. Student Handlers must meet the criteria defined in the application and be approved for the program. The application is for one handler-dog pair for one specified semester. A new application must be submitted in order to be approved for another semester. Handler teams area encouraged with 2-3 students per team. Student who are unable to be handlers can also get involved by applying to be a sitter.

Below is a list of general rules and information that must be complied with during the duration of the Handler's program.

  • The duration of the Handler's training will comprise of one academic semester
  • Handler must be of either junior or senior standing
  • Handler must not live in a residence hall or a fraternity or sorority house. If the Handler lives in a property that is not owned by UD, the handler must have the permission of his/her landlord
  • Service training dogs must wear (or have visible) their 4 Paws vest and identifying tags while in public
  • Handler must commit to attending the meeting schedule set by 4 Paws
  • Handler must always clean up after his or her dog and must maintain the hygiene of the dog (e.g. odor)
  • Handler must have complete command over the dog at all times and maintain the dog on a leash when in public
  • Dogs must never be chained out in the yard at any time
  • Handler need to inform professors before taking the dog to class
  • Handler must maintain use of the dog crate while dog is in Handler's care
  • Individuals may not interact with a service training dog until approved by the Handler
  • Service training dogs may only sleep in homes designated by a "home visit" by 4 Paws
  • Handler must agree to the clauses of the 4 Paws Foster Home Contract and abide by all stipulations regarding appropriate use of supplies; health; house manners and care; training; travel; and socialization
  • Handler must agree to the Guidelines and Check List for Maintaining an Approved Animal at the University of Dayton.

Presently the 2016-17 handler teams have been identified.  To sign up for future notifications of sitter and handler options, please feel free to sign up for our information email list.

Guidelines for approved animals

The student must immediately clean up after the animal. Failure to clean up after your animal may result in the removal of the animal from campus.

Students need to maintain the hygiene of the services animal. Preventative measures should be taken for flea and odor control. Consideration of others must be taken into account when providing maintenance and hygiene of assistance animals.  Failure to maintain your animal's hygiene may result in the removal of the animal from campus.

It is recommended that the animal wear some type of commonly recognized identification symbol, identifying the animal as a working animal, but not disclosing disability.

Control Requirements

While in public, the animal should be on a leash when not providing a needed service to student.

The animal should respond to commands at all times, and be in full control of the student. To the extent possible, the animal should be as unobtrusive to other students and the learning environment as possible.

A service/emotional support animal may be excluded from the campus when that animal's behavior poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others. Although the campus may exclude any service animal that is out of control, it will not exclude the individual with a disability. A corrective action plan may be developed to allow the animal to return to campus e.g. muzzling a barking animal, refresher training for the animal and the student, etc.

Emotional support animals are not permitted in University Buildings or general public areas other than personal residence.

Public Etiquette

The animal should not:

  • Sniff people, restaurant tables or the personal belongings of others.
  • Display any behaviors or noises that are disruptive to others unless part of the service being provided the student.
  • Engage in personal grooming in public settings.
  • Block an aisle or passageway for fire egress.

The general public should avoid:

  • Petting a service animal as it may distract them from the task at hand.
  • Feeding the service animal.
  • Deliberately startling a service animal.
  • Separating or attempting to separate a student from his/her service animal.
  • Hesitating to ask a student if she/he would like assistance if there seems to be confusion.

Areas of Safety Concern

As cited above, there are certain instances when it may be considered unsafe for service animals.  This may include medical facilities, laboratories, mechanical rooms or any other place where the safety of the animal or student may be threatened.

When it is determined unsafe for the student and service animal to be in one of these areas, reasonable accommodations will be provided to assure the student equal access to the activity. The decision regarding safety of the service animal and student will be determined through consultation with the student, Office of Learning Resources Disability Staff and may include faculty from the designated program.

Emergency Situations

Any emergency response efforts should make every effort to keep the service animal and its student together; however, the first effort should be toward the student; this may necessitate leaving the animal behind in certain emergency evacuation situations.  Students are encouraged to develop an emergency evacuation plan.