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Fort Lewis College Official Seal

Policy identification number: 

File: Ethical & Responsible Conduct Policies > Responsible Conduct Policies

Service and Support Animals on Campus

Policy Summary

This policy outlines the definition, responsibilities, and guidelines to having a service animal or support animal on campus.

Policy Owner

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Approval Date

August 7, 2018

Effective Date

August 7, 2018

Search Terms

service and support animals pvpaa s

Scheduled for Review

Fall 2023

I. Service Animals

Fort Lewis College, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Amendment Act, must allow individuals with disabilities to have a service animal as their accommodation.  Service animals may accompany students, employees or the general public on campus.

Individuals accompanied by a service animal on campus who do not need any other disability-related accommodations are not required to register with Disability Services unless the student plans to live in campus housing. However, it is recommended that students make an appointment with Disability Services to assist in easing your service animal’s transition to campus.  Employees should contact the HR Director to go through the accommodation process.

Fort Lewis College recommends service animals be identifiable by wearing a vest or harness. Service animals must be housebroken (i.e., trained so that it controls its waste elimination, absent illness or accident) and service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In the case of the latter, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.

Fort Lewis College will assess requests for the use of miniature horses by individuals with disabilities on a case-by-case basis.

II. Support Animals

Support animals do not qualify as service animals.  In some instances, students with disabilities may be allowed to have a support animal within campus housing facilities with prior approval.

Individuals with disabilities are responsible for the cost, care, and supervision of their service or support animals, including:

  • Compliance with any laws pertaining to animal licensing, vaccination, and owner identification;  
  • Keeping the animal under control at all times, which means being harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices.  In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls; and
  • Feeding and walking the animal and disposing of animal waste.

III. Service and Support Animals

Fort Lewis College will not require any surcharges or fees related to service/support animals. Individuals may be charged for damage caused by any animal.   Individuals with disabilities who are accompanied by service/support animals must comply with the same college rules regarding noise, safety, disruption, and cleanliness as people without disabilities.

All persons shall promptly comply with any college directive to remove their animal from an area in which it was previously authorized if:

  • It is out of control and effective action is not taken to control it;
  • It is not housebroken; or
  • It poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others that cannot be mitigated by reasonable modifications of policies, practices, or procedures, or the provision of auxiliary aids or services.

IV. Reason for Policy 

Students with disabilities must be able to access all areas of campus with their service animal, without being questioned.

V. Responsibilities 

For following the policy: All employees and students

For enforcement of the policy: Director of Disability Services, Campus Police

For oversight of the policy: Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

For notification of policy: Policy Librarian

For procedures implementing the policy: Director of Disability Services

VI. Definitions 

Service Animals:  A service animal is a dog or miniature horse (rarely) that has been individually trained to do work or perform specific tasks for a specific individual with a disability.  The disability may not always be visible or obvious.

Service Animals in Training:  Animals who are being trained specifically as service animals for individuals with disabilities.  For purposes of this policy, service animals in training are treated the same as service animals.

Support Animals: A support animal provides emotional or other assistance that minimizes one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person's disability. This group includes therapy animals, emotional support, or comfort animals. Unlike service animals, support animals are not required to be trained to perform work or tasks, and they include species other than dogs and miniature horses.

VII. Procedures

To ensure equal access and nondiscrimination of individuals with disabilities, members of the Fort Lewis College community must abide by the following practices:

  • Allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities on campus;
  • Do not ask for details about a person's disabilities;
  • Do not pet, interact, or feed a service animal, as it distracts the animal from its work;
  • Do not deliberately startle, tease, or taunt a service animal; and
  • Do not separate or attempt to separate a person from his/her service animal, especially in case of an emergency.
  • Provide individuals with service animals with the right of way with respect to cyclists and skateboarders. 

A person with a disability cannot be asked to remove service animal from the premises unless: (1) the dog is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it or (2) the dog is not housebroken. When there is a legitimate reason to ask that a service animal be removed, the individual with the disability must be given the opportunity to acquire educational services without the animal’s presence.

When it is not obvious a dog is a service animal, the following inquiries are permitted: 

  • Is the dog required because of a disability?
  • What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?

VIII. Cross-Referenced Policies 

The Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended 
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Fair Housing Act
Colorado Revised Statutes

[see DOJ ADA guidance(link is external) 

[see 36 C.F.R. 136(link is external)]: