In compliance with applicable law, Kutztown University generally allows service animals in administrative buildings, classrooms, residence halls, dining and recreation facilities, meetings, activities, and campus events when the animal is accompanied by a handler.
A service animal is defined as any dog (or in some cases a miniature horse) 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 the service animal must be directly related to the individual’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, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, retrieving items such as medicine or a telephone, 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.
- Commuter students who use service animals are requested to provide notice to Disability Services Office prior to use of the animal on campus.
- Students who reside on-campus and who use service animals must notify the Disability Services Office prior to use of the animal on campus. The DSO will notify the Office of Housing and Dining Services who maintains oversight of service animals living in residential facilities. The Office of Housing and Dining Services is entitled to disclose limited information to roommates/suitemates who will be sharing the living space with a student who uses a service animal.
- Employees who use service animals must submit a Reasonable Accommodation Request for Employees Form (pursuant to DIV-002 Reasonable Accommodations Request for Employees) to the Disability Services Office prior to using a service animal in the workplace.
- Visitors, including prospective students, with service animals do not need to notify the Disability Services Office prior to bringing a service animal to campus.
Kutztown University may prohibit service animals when its handler does not have control of the animal, when the animal poses a substantial and direct threat to health or safety, or when the presence of the animal constitutes a fundamental alteration to the nature of the program or service. Kutztown University will make those determinations on a case-by-case basis.
Emotional Support Animals
The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Fair Housing Act (FHA) regulations provide that emotional support animals be considered a reasonable accommodation in campus housing. HUD/Fair Housing regulations only apply to housing facilities, therefore emotional support animals are not allowed in other campus buildings.
An emotional support animal provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of an individual’s disability, which affords the person equal opportunity to use and enjoy university housing. An emotional support animal does not typically perform work or tasks that would qualify them as “a service animal” under the Americans with Disabilities Act and are not required to be individually trained to perform tasks or be certified. Comfort and companion animals are considered emotional support animals.
In order for an accompanying emotional support animal to be considered a reasonable accommodation, students must provide documentation of 1) the existence of a disability, 2) a relationship between the disability and the relief the animal provides, and 3) a showing of necessity in order for the resident to use and enjoy an on-campus residence. Generally, only one ESA will be approved for any student, in order to fulfill the intent of the FHA requirements in providing support to the student with a disability.
Students who wish to request an emotional support animal must contact the Disability Services Office for the application packet and guidelines.
Consistent with this the DIV-003 Animals On-Campus Policy, pets and all non-service animals (including emotional support animals) are not permitted in classroom buildings, at academic activities, faculty offices, administrative offices, or any nonresidential university buildings, except when the pet/non-service animal is being used for academic demonstration purposes. Pets, except toothless fish, are not permitted in any residential building on campus.
To review the complete Animals On-Campus Policy, please see Kutztown University Policy DIV-003.