Service Animal Policy

Pacific Union College seeks to accommodate qualified persons with documented disabilities who need the assistance of a service animal.  In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Pacific Union College has created the following Service Animal Policy on campus.


“Disability”, as defined by the ADA, means a sensory, mental, physical or condition and/or impairment that is medically diagnosable, and that substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, working, or learning.

The definition of “Service Animal” (SA) in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is “any dog individually trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals who are hearing impaired, assisting an individual during a seizure, pulling a wheelchair or fetching dropped items.”  The service the animal is providing must be directly related to the functional limitation of the person’s disability.  The person requesting the accommodation of bringing his/her animal to campus may be required to provide current documentation of the disability along with a description of the criteria used to assess the impact of the disability.  If an animal meets this definition it is considered a service animal regardless of whether or not it has been certified by a training program.   

Animals functioning only to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as “Service Animals”.  A Service Animal is not a pet.  (See policies for Emotional Support Animal)

Policy Overview

No service animal will be permitted in residence halls or college housing without prior approval by the Disabilities Advisory Committee.  All Service Animal requests must be submitted to the Access Services Director (ASD) at the Student Success Center.  The request will be evaluated by the Disabilities Advisory Committee. After approval, the student is responsible for submitting the approval to their residence hall dean.

Once approved, the SA is allowed to accompany their owner at all times and everywhere on campus, except where SA are specifically prohibited due to health, environmental, or safety hazards.  Faculty, staff and students should refrain from petting, feeding or distracting service animals. 

In order to qualify for a SA at Pacific Union College the student must provide documentation to corroborate the disability and its nature by obtaining the following documents:

From a licensed practitioner:

  • The student has a disability: Licensed health care provider must submit a signed letter, on professional  letterhead,  verifying that he or she has a disabling condition or impairment, and that a service animal is necessary to assist the person so they may use the facilities and/or services by outlining the following:
  • The nature of the disabling condition or impairment, with whatever information the college may reasonably need to ensure compliance with the law;
  • The provider’s professional opinion that the person needs the requested animal to use the College facilities and services, the function of the animal, and whatever rationale or further statement the College may need to understand the basis for the professional opinion.

From the student:

  • A qualified person with a disability who utilizes a service animal must be registered with Disabilities Support Services at the Student Success Center.
  • Completed requirements for SAs should be submitted to the ASD at least 30 days before prospective housing will be needed for the Service Animal.
  • Letter stating description of the dog and a picture, name, what functions the animal performs, and how those tasks assist access to the school’s programs.

Requirements of Service Animals and Their Owners

  • Care: The care and supervision of the SA is the responsibility of the owner. The owner must maintain control of the animal at all times. SAs require daily food, exercise, and attention.
  • Identification of SA: Collars and tags must be worn at all times. 
  • Health: All SAs must comply with local, county, and/or state vaccination requirements.  A Certificate of Health must be signed yearly by a veterinarian certifying the SA is healthy and free from any signs of infectious or contagious diseases, parasites, etc. All owners must submit verification from a veterinarian reporting that the SA is spayed or neutered.
  • Leash:  The SA must be kept on a leash at all times when outside the residence hall and must never be allowed to run freely.
  • Feces:  The SA owner must never allow the animal to defecate on any public or private property unless the owner immediately removes the waste.  The owner should always carry equipment sufficient to clean up the animal’s feces whenever necessary and is responsible for the proper disposal of the animal’s feces and for any damage caused by the waste or its removal.
  • Disruption: The SA must not be allowed to disrupt others.  This may consist of, but is not limited to, continuous barking, growling, howling, wandering or playing in the classroom, etc.
  • Liability: All liability for the actions of the SA (bites, scratches, damages, etc.) is the responsibility of the owner.  Violations may result in the resident having to find alternative housing for the animal
  • Overnight care:  Animals cannot be left unattended overnight at any time.  If the owner must be away they must either take the animal with them, or make arrangements for them to be cared for elsewhere, which does not include other residence halls or rooms.
  • Cleaning and Damages:  The College maintains the right to conduct unannounced room inspections for the purpose of assessing cleanliness and occurring damages caused by the animal.  Damages and extraordinary cleaning, or repair of damages caused by the animal are the responsibility of the owner.