3:007 Animals on Campus
|Austin Peay State
|Animals on Campus
||June 18, 2018
||Vice President for Student Affairs and General Counsel
||Office of Student Affairs and Office of Legal Affairs
It is the policy of Austin Peay State University to allow animals on campus based
on the procedures and guidelines set forth in this policy.
-Procedures only Applicable to Emotional Support Animals
-Guidelines Applicable to All Assistance Animals
-Guidelines for Maintaining an Assistance Animal at Austin Peay State University
Austin Peay State University (APSU) recognizes the importance of service animals and
emotional support animals for individuals with disabilities and has established the
following policy to assist students with life issues. The policy ensures that students
with disabilities, who require the use of assistance animals as a reasonable accommodation,
receive the benefit of the work or task performed by such animals or the therapeutic
support they provide. APSU is committed to allowing students with disabilities the
use of an assistance animal on campus to facilitate their full-participation and equal
access to the University’s programs and activities.
APSU reserves the right to enforce all relevant rules for the use of assistance animals
through the student conduct code and applicable laws. APSU also reserves the right
to revoke permission granted for the campus presence of any assistance animal whose
owner fails to follow the requirements set forth in this procedure.
Requests for emotional support animals will only be reviewed under this policy for
university housing. These animals will not be allowed in other campus facilities.
Requests that do not carry evidence of the necessity of the animal will be denied.
What is a Disability?
In order to qualify for a reasonable accommodation under the Fair Housing Act, Section
504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, or the Americans with Disabilities Act, the
student must meet the statutory definition of having a “disability.”
“Disability” is defined as a physical or mental condition or impairment that substantially
limits one or more of a person’s major life activities. These limitations may include:
caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing,
working, and learning. A person is substantially limited in major life activities
if the individual is unable to perform the activity, or is significantly restricted
as to the manner in which he or she can perform that activity when compared to the
What is a Service Animal?
A “Service animal” performs functions and tasks that the individual with a disability
cannot perform for him or herself. Service animals are individually trained to do
work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. These tasks
include, but are not limited to: guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting
individuals who are hearing impaired to intruders or sound, providing minimal protection
or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items. An owner does not
need prior approval before bringing a service animal to campus in areas where the
general public is allowed to go. In situations where it is not obvious that the animal
is a service animal, staff may ask only two specific questions: (1) is the animal
a service animal required because of a disability? and (2) what work or task has the
animal been trained to perform? Staff are not allowed to request any documentation
for the animal, require that the animal demonstrate its task, or inquire about the
nature of the person's disability.
What is an Emotional Support Animal?
An “emotional support animal” often referred to as a “companion animal” is an animal
whose sole responsibility is to provide calming influence, affection, stability or
security. An emotional support animal should demonstrate a good temperament and reliable,
predictable behavior. Unlike a service animal, an emotional support 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 emotional support animal, however, may
be incorporated in a treatment process to assist in alleviating the symptoms of that
individual’s disability. This treatment occurs within the person’s residence. Emotional
support animals are not service animals and will not necessarily qualify as a reasonable
accommodation under ADA. If they meet the qualifications as a reasonable accommodation,
then such animals can only be permitted in housing and not in public areas on campus.
An “approved animal” is an emotional support animal that has been permitted as a
reasonable accommodation under this policy.
An “assistance animal” is either a service animal or an emotional support animal.
The “owner” is the student or other covered person who has a service animal or has
requested an accommodation for an emotional support animal and has received approval
to bring the “approved animal” on campus.
Procedures only Applicable
to Emotional Support
How Can I Apply for Approval for an Emotional Support Animal?
In order to have an emotional support animal in University housing, students must
apply with the Office of Housing and Residence Life. (Application- https://www.apsu.edu/disability/esafillableapplactioe.pdf) The application is reviewed in coordination with the Office of House and Residence
Life and the Office Disability Services.
Emotional support animals may not reside in university housing without expressed approval
from APSU officials.
Applicants should make arrangements with their external healthcare provider for the
exchange of information with APSU, since the student’s healthcare provider may be
contacted for clarification. Healthcare providers must be certified/accredited in
one of the following categories:
- Mental Health Counselor
- Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Verification of Disability and Need for an Emotional Support Animal
A student seeking the assistance of an emotional support animal to use university
facilities and services must provide verification to the Office for Disability Services
that he or she has a qualifying disability and that the emotional support animal is
needed for the use and enjoyment of the university facilities and services. The student’s
health care provider, who is qualified to make the requested assessment, must submit
a signed letter on professional letterhead expressing the following:
- The provider’s diagnosis of the person’s condition.
- The provider’s opinion that the condition affects a major life activity.
- The provider’s professional opinion that the emotional support animal is used to help
with the person’s daily living activities, and is necessary to effectively utilize
University facilities and services.
- The provider’s description of what service(s) the emotional support animal will specifically
- Any additional rationale or statement the University may reasonably need to understand
the basis for the professional opinion.
Documentation of the disability may not be required if the specific disability is
already known to the university.
The Office of Disabilities Services will review the documentation upon receipt of
all documentation. If the request is approved, the resident will be contacted by
the Office of Disability Services to meet with the Housing/Residential Life Office.
At this time, the policies and responsibilities will be reviewed with the owner of
the animal. Notification of approval or denial of the emotional support animal will
be communicated with the Office of Housing and Residence Life.
If a student’s request to house an emotional support animal is denied, then he or
she will have the opportunity to appeal such decisions. All appeals are reviewed by
the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action. The student will receive information
about the appeals process via e-mail, and this information will be sent to the student
within one week of the denial decision.
NOTE: Only Service Animals have access to non-residential university owned facilities
(except restricted areas). Emotional support animals are restricted to housing only.
to All Assistance
Owner’s Responsibilities for Having an Assistance Animal on Campus
- The owner is responsible for assuring that the assistance animal does not unduly interfere
with the routine activities of the university or cause difficulties for other members
of the university community.
- Service Animals may travel freely with their owner throughout university facilities.
Emotional support animals must be contained within the approved student’s privately
assigned residential area (room, suite, and apartment) or specifically designated
areas at all times, except when transported outside the private residential area in
an animal carrier or controlled by leash or harness.
- The owner is financially responsible for the actions of the assistance animal including
bodily injury or property damage. The owner’s responsibility covers, but is not limited
to replacement of furniture, carpet, window, wall covering, and the like. Carpet replacement expenses alone can be several thousand dollars; final restitution
costs will vary depending upon the original condition of the residence and other factors. The owner is expected to cover these costs at the time of repair and/or move-out.
In sum, the owner is personally and financially responsible for the actions of an
- In the event two or more roommates have an assistance animal, there is an expectation
that the animals live harmoniously together. Any conflicts between the animals should
be worked out between the residents. If there is animal-related damage to your residential
unit, then the university’s policy on room damage charges will apply. If one resident
takes responsibility for damages in a common area, then that resident will be charged.
If neither resident claims responsibility for the damage, any fines and/or repair
fees will be split evenly between the residents with animals.
- The owner is responsible for any expenses incurred for cleaning above and beyond a
standard cleaning or for repairs to University premises that are assessed after the
student and animal vacate the residence. The University shall have the right to bill
the student account of the owner for unmet obligations.
- The owner must notify the Office of Disability Services in writing if an approved
animal is no longer needed as an approved animal or is no longer in residence. To
replace an animal, the owner must file a new request following the procedures outlined
- The owner’s residence may be inspected for fleas, ticks or other pests twice a semester
or as needed. The Office of Housing and Residence Life or Facilities Office will schedule
the inspection. If fleas, ticks or other pests are detected through inspection, the
residence will be treated using approved fumigation methods by a university-approved
pest control service. The owner will be billed for the expense of any pest treatment
above and beyond standard pest management in the residential facilities.
- Assistance animals may not be left overnight in University housing to be cared for
by another student. Animals must leave campus if the owner leaves campus for a prolonged
period, including overnight.
- Housing has the ability to relocate the owner and assistance animal as necessary according
to current contractual agreements.
- The owner undertakes to comply with the “Guidelines for Maintaining an Assistance
Animal at Austin Peay State University” as set forth in this policy. The owner also
agrees to continue to abide by all other university policies. Any violation of the
above rules may result in immediate removal of the animal from the university and
the owner will be afforded all rights of due process and appeal as outlined in that
process. Should the assistance animal be removed from the university premises for
any reason, the owner is expected to fulfill his/her housing obligations for the remainder
of the housing contract.
|Guidelines for Maintaining
an Assistance Animal at
Austin Peay State
The following guidelines apply to all assistance animals and their owners, unless
the nature of the documented disability of the owner precludes adherence to these
guidelines, and permission for a variance from the guidelines has been granted.
Care and Supervision:
The Owner of an assistance animal is responsible for the animal’s care and supervision
at all times. The person is required to maintain control of the animal at all times.
This includes the cleanup of the animal’s waste. Outdoor solid animal waste must be
picked up immediately and disposed of in outside trash dumpsters. Indoor animal waste,
such as cat litter, must be placed in a sturdy plastic bag and securely tied up before
being disposed of in outside trash dumpsters. Litter boxes should be placed on mats
so that waste is not tracked onto carpeted surfaces. APSU custodial staff is not responsible
for disposing of animal waste.
Austin Peay may remove or require the removal of any animal that poses a threat to
the health or safety of others, is not housebroken, causing undue noise, or damage
Animal Health and Well-being
- Vaccination: In accordance with local ordinances and regulations the animal must be immunized
against diseases common to that type of animal. Animals must have current vaccination
and local licensing requirements must be followed.
- Health: Animals housed in APSU housing must have an annual clean bill of health from a licensed
veterinarian. Documentation can be a vaccination certificate for the animal or a veterinarian's
statement regarding the animal’s health. APSU has authority to direct that the animal
receive veterinary attention.
- Assistance Animals and Conduct Policy violations: Students in violation of the controlled substance, alcohol, or any other conduct policy
that may put the animal at risk, may have their Assistance Animal removed.
- Leash: The animal must be on a leash or crated anytime it is outside the owner’s private
residential facility, including residential common areas. The only exception to this
rule would be if the leash would inhibit the animal’s ability to be of service. The
owner is required to maintain control of the animal at all times.
- Containment of assistance animal during owner temporary absence: It is advised that any assistance animal left in a residential facility while the
owner is away temporarily from that facility for any length of time, should be housed
in a crate or other appropriate containment apparatus. Roommates or suitemates cannot
be left in charge of assistance animals nor can animals be moved to another room on
campus, if the owner is not present. The owner of the animal retains responsibility
for the animal at all times. An assistance animal found unattended for an extended
period of time or abandoned may be impounded in accordance with applicable laws and
- Cleaning of assistance animals: Assistance animals may not be washed in APSU residence halls.
- Other Conditions: The Office of Disability Services and/or Office of Housing and Residence Life may
place other reasonable conditions or restrictions on the animals depending on the
nature and characteristics of the animal.
APSU Policy 3:007 – Issued: June 18, 2018
President: signature on file