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Emotional Support Animals

The Office of Student Housing has a no-pets policy in its campus residences. Emotional support animals (ESAs) for students with emotional/mental disabilities are an exception to this policy under the Fair Housing Act when a request is made using the University's procedure and determined to be a reasonable accommodation. The Office of Disability Services is responsible for facilitating the process to ensure that legitimate needs are documented and addressed in a timely manner to afford an equal opportunity to use and enjoy University housing.

We respect the importance that an Emotional Support Animal may hold for you, so we advise the earliest possible contact with us, no later than 30 days prior to the desired start date, to allow adequate time to meet the requirements and make the arrangements involved. Reading this entire document will inform you of your role in the process as well as what to expect from the University. It also contains some guidance that could spare you expense and time.
 

Request Accommodation

  • First, carefully read and complete the attached  ESA Request Form for Students; it explains the nature and intent of this accommodation as well as the qualification process.  It is especially important that you fully consider the responsibilities associated with having an ESA on campus that are not ordinarily part of a student’s lifestyle. 
  • If you believe that an ESA as described in the Request Form is applicable to your disability-related needs, you should discuss it with an appropriate professional; typically this will be the physician, mental health counselor, etc. who was directly involved in your most recent evaluation and  with whom you have a therapeutic relationship.  If your treatment professional is supportive, you should ask them to complete the ESA Form for Providers.  
  • NOTE: Beware of advertising by online sites selling paperwork that recommends ESAs based on the results of questionnaires and/or a short interaction. A number of these sites have been identified as "documentation mills" and will not be accepted as valid providers by the University. 
  •  After completing the above steps, email the Disability Services Coordinator, Evangeline Day, to set an appointment for your request to be considered. Allow up to 30 minutes for this confidential meeting.
 
NOTE: Any animal that is brought to a campus residence hall (other than a trained Service dog) before proper approval will be subject to immediate removal and the student will be subject to disciplinary action, including fines. 
 
Questions about the ESA accommodation request process or eligibility criteria should be sent to the Disability Services Coordinator, Evangeline Day, or 606-783-5188 (fax: 606-783-9190).
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