Sac State University Policy Manual

Service Animals on Campus

Policy Administrator: Vice President for Administration & CFO
Authority: AA2009-27 Policy for the Provision of Accommodations and Support Services to Students with Disabilities; EO 883 System-wide Guidelines for Non Discrimination and Affirmative Action Programs in Employment; EO 926 Policy on Disability Support and Accommodations; Title II, Americans with Disability Act
Effective Date: December 13, 2011
Updated: March 11, 2011
Index Cross-References: Animals on Campus; Guide Dogs; Seeing Eye Dogs; Signal Dogs;
Academic Program Access for Students with Disabilities; Disability Accommodation procedure for Current Employees
Policy File Number: ADM-0172


This policy supplements the previously existing policy, Animals on Campus, to ensure that California State University, Sacramento continues to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, all relevant Federal and State statutes, and California State University policies regarding reasonable accommodation and access to academic programs for students with disabilities and employment opportunities for employees with disabilities.

Policy Statement
California State University, Sacramento complies with federal and state disability civil rights laws and permits service animals assisting individuals with disabilities in all facilities and programs where participants and members of the public are permitted, except where noted below.

Specific Role of Service Animals on Campus
A service animal is any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.  The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler's disability.  Examples of work or tasks 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 physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors.  For purposes of this policy, service animals in training are permitted in the same areas as working service animals.

Specific Responsibilities of Service Animal Handlers
The handler of a service animal must be in full control of the animal at all times.  The care and supervision of a service animal is solely the responsibility of the handler. A service animal shall be under the handler's control using a harness, leash, or other tether, unless either the handler is unable because of a disability to use a harness, leash, or other tether, or the use of a harness, leash, or other tether would interfere with the service animal's safe, effective performance of work or tasks, in which case the service animal must be otherwise under the handler's control (e.g., voice control, signals, or other effective means).

Handlers are responsible for knowing Sacramento City and County codes which require immunization and licensing.  Current requirements are available at Sacramento County Code, Title 8, Animals, Chapter 8.20; City of Sacramento

The handler must immediately remove and properly dispose of fecal matter.  If the individual is personally unable to perform the task due to the disability, it is his/her responsibility to arrange for removal and disposal.  The handler must maintain appropriate hygiene and cleanliness of a service animal to control odor, shedding, and fleas.

The handler of a service animal or a service animal in training is expected to ensure that the service animal shows appropriate behavior, including full socialization, good temperament, no barking or disruptive noises or behavior.

Legal grounds for removal of service animals exist if:  1) a handler fails to maintain effective control of a service animal; or 2) a service animal is not house broken.  A service animal may be requested to leave a facility or program if the animal's behavior or presence poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, is unruly or disruptive, or hygiene/cleanliness standards are not followed.  Service animals may be excluded in areas where the presence of a service animal fundamentally alters the nature of a program or activity or is disruptive or unsafe. Examples may include certain research labs, non-residential food preparation areas, mechanical, utility, or custodial closets, areas with moving machinery or floors with sharp objects or extreme temperatures.

In case of emergency, emergency response teams will make every effort to keep the service animal with its handler.  However, it may be necessary to leave an animal behind in certain emergency evacuation situations as determined by emergency personnel.

Request for a Service Animal as Reasonable Accommodation
Students and employees may request the assistance of a service animal as a reasonable accommodation to facilitate access to academic programs and employment opportunities, respectively.  The University may ask if the animal is required because of a disability and what work or task the animal has been trained to perform.  (28CFR 35.104 and 136)

Student requests for disability accommodations, including requests to have a service animal accompany the student on campus, are handled by Services to Students with Disabilities through an accommodation request and interactive review process.  Qualified students will be provided with an official accommodation letter to present to instructors or campus administrators as needed.

Individuals living on campus should contact the Housing and Residential Life Office for additional information about having service/support animals in on-campus housing facilities.

Employee requests for disability accommodations, including requests to have a service animal at work, are handled through the employee accommodation request and interactive process in Human Resources.

Appeal Procedures
A decision denying a student’s or employee’s request for the assistance of a service animal may be appealed within Service to Students with Disabilities or Human Resources, respectively, and those units should be contacted for details regarding conflict resolution.  Should an appeal be denied, students and employees may file a complaint with the ADA/504 Coordinator pursuant to relevant CSU Executive Order or collective bargaining agreements.



Approved by: Alexander Gonzalez, President

Date: December 13, 2011