3.19 Animals on Campus

(Adopted March 7, 2016; Revised 12-6-2021)

East Central College welcomes the presence of trained Service Animals assisting individuals with disabilities on its campus in areas open to the public consistent with the provisions of this Policy and applicable law. This Policy applies only to facilities owned by the College or under its control. There may be restrictions imposed on the use of Service Animals in non-College facilities, such as hospitals, science laboratories, or other clinical or internship experience locations. Such restrictions are established by the individual facilities, and the College has no control over such restrictions. In addition, the College reserves the right to impose restrictions on the use of Service Animals on its property in order to maintain safety or to avoid disruption of College operations. For purposes of this Policy, a “Service Animal” is defined as a dog, or in certain circumstances, a miniature horse, that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of individuals with disabilities. Animals that are not Service Animals will not be permitted inside College buildings unless specifically approved by the College President.

Procedures: (Adopted 3-7-2016)

3.19.1 Service Animals

The Access Services Department at East Central College strives to provide equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities, which may include the use of Service Animals. Service Animals are working animals, not pets. The work or tasks performed by a Service Animal must be directly related to its handler’s disability.

Examples of work or tasks performed by Service Animals may include, but are not limited to:

  • assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks
  • alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds
  • providing non-violent protection or rescue work
  • pulling a wheelchair
  • assisting an individual during a seizure
  • alerting individuals to the presence of allergens
  • retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone
  • providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities
  • helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors

Services that do not qualify as work or tasks performed by a Service Animal include:

  • deterring crime
  • providing emotional support, comfort, or companionship (often referred to as “therapy” or “companion” animals)

An animal does not have to be licensed or certified as a Service Animal in order to serve in that capacity. Individuals with Service Animals will not be required to provide documentation proving that the animal has had particular training as or is a “certified” Service Animal. However, consistent with state law, all Service Animals on campus should still:

  • be licensed in compliance with state and/or local laws applicable to non-service animals,
  • be properly immunized and vaccinated, and
  • wear a current license and rabies vaccination tag.

In situations where it is not obvious that the dog or miniature horse is a Service Animal, the College may ask the following questions:

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

A Service Animal is not required to wear a certain kind of harness that identifies it as a Service Animal, although all Service Animals must be on a leash or a harness at all times unless the nature of the accommodations provided by the Service Animal would be negatively impacted by a harness or leash. In that case, the handler must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.

The College may direct an individual with a disability to remove a Service Animal from College premises if the animal:

  • is out of control and its handler does not take effective action to control it (including the animal posing a direct threat to others on campus and/or exhibiting behavior that interferes with the educational process).
  • is not housebroken or is ill.
  • is not properly licensed and/or vaccinated in accordance with state and/or local laws applicable to non-service animals.

3.19.2 Non-Service Animals

Pets under the control of an adult (i.e., 18 years or older) are permitted on College property but are not permitted within College-owned or leased buildings. Only Service Animals or animals being used in College laboratories for research, classroom, or observation purposes are permitted within College-owned or leased buildings.

Animals must be leashed and under the control of an adult at all times. A loose animal trailing a leash or one tied to a fixed object is not under the control of an adult. Animals that are unleashed, or leashed and unattended, on College property may be subject to impoundment at the expense of the owner. Animals left unattended in motor vehicles on College property may also be impounded at the expense of the owner if they become a nuisance or if the welfare of the animal is threatened.

3.19.3 Any exception to this Policy must be approved by the College President.