Service, Assistance (Emotional Support), and Other Animals

The University is committed to providing individuals equal access to its programs, housing, and public spaces in compliance with federal and state law.  The purpose of this policy is to ensure that individuals with disabilities who require the use of Service or Assistance Animals have equal access to University programs, housing, and public spaces in accordance with law. The policy also addresses the admissibility of other Animals on campus.

Scope

This policy applies to all University students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

Authority

Vice Chancellor for Research

Policy

  1.  Animals are generally prohibited in all buildings except as otherwise expressly permitted under this policy. Subject to the procedures and guidelines set forth and referred to in this policy, Service Animals, Service Animals in Training, Assistance (Emotional Support) Animals, and Pets (including Therapy Animals) are permitted on University Property in accordance with the chart below.
University Property Type Permissible Animals
Grounds Service Animals, Service Animals in Training, Assistance (Emotional Support) Animals, and Pets (including Therapy Animals)
Public Access Areas
(including University buildings)
Service Animals and Service Animals in Training; see also Exceptions.
University Housing
(including Emergency Shelters)
Service Animals and Assistance (Emotional Support) Animals
Limited Access Areas None
  1. Animals used in authorized University research and teaching are permitted on University Property and in Animal Facilities in accordance with the research or educational program and consistent with the Care and Use of Animals in Research and Teaching policy: http://cam.illinois.edu/xi/xi-2.htm.
  2. Trained Police dogs accompanied by their law enforcement handlers are permitted on University Property for official law enforcement purposes.
  3. Animals requiring medical care or treatment are permitted at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
  4. Pets (including Therapy Animals) under the complete control of their handlers are permitted on the Grounds and may participate in educational events only if the owner registers the Pet (Therapy Animal) with the Registered Student Organization (RSO) or University unit responsible for the event. The RSO or unit must maintain the completed registration form on file for three years following the event and the form shall be available to University and System administration upon request. For more information, see: https://www.treasury.uillinois.edu/risk_management/special_events/animals_on_campus/.
  5. No person shall misrepresent the need for, or the status of, a Service Animal or Assistance (Emotional Support) Animal.

Definitions

Animal means any live, vertebrate species.

Animal Facility means an area of University Property that is subject to federal inspection for use in animal confinement, housing, breeding, experimentation, or teaching. Examples of Animal Facilities include laboratories, animal housing units, barns, pastures, pens, and other farm property.

Assistance (Emotional Support) Animal means an Animal that assists, supports, or provides services to an individual with a disability in University Housing. The support may be emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of the disability. An Assistance (Emotional Support) Animal differs from a Service Animal in that it does not need to be trained to perform specialized tasks.

Disability means a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities, a record of such impairment or being regarded as having such an impairment.

Emergency Shelter means a specific location designated by the University for people to live temporarily when they cannot live in their previous residence.

Grounds means outdoor areas of University Property excluding Animal Facilities.

Limited-Access Areas means areas of University Property that are restricted access with regard to the general public and subject to general infection-control measures in order to maintain a sterile environment, such as burn units and operating rooms. General infection control measures include: the imposition of environmental criteria to minimize risk of disease transmission; strict attention to hand hygiene and absence of dermatologic conditions; and required barrier protective measures for persons in the affected space.

Pets (including Therapy Animals) means non-University-owned, domesticated Animals kept for companionship or comfort but that are not Service Animals, Service Animals in Training, or Assistance Animals.

Public Access Areas means University Property open to the public; open to participants in services, programs, or activities; or open to visitors. Public Access Areas include, for example,  Grounds, classrooms and other research and teaching facilities, offices, libraries, lecture halls, auditoriums, stadiums, arenas, dining halls, restaurants, retail stores, health care facilities, housing, and Emergency Shelters.

Service Animal means a dog (or in some cases, a miniature horse) that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. The tasks performed by the animal must be directly related to the person’s disability.  Service Animals include but are not limited to: guide dogs, hearing dogs, seizure response dogs, and seizure alert dogs, and dogs or miniature horses that perform other specialized tasks related to the disability. No special certification or documented proof of training is required.

Service Animal in Training means a dog or miniature horse that is in the process of being individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.

University Housing means University-owned or operated residential accommodations, including residence halls and apartments.

University Property means all real estate, including land and improvements, owned or controlled by the University of Illinois.

Processes/Procedures/Guidelines

  1. All Animals  
  1. Animals must be under the control of their handlers at all times with a harness, leash, or other tether, unless in the case of a Service Animal, the use of a harness, leash, or tether would interfere with the Service Animal’s safe, effective performance of work, in which case the Service Animal must be otherwise under the handler’s control.
  1. The handler must take effective and immediate action when the Animal is out of control, behaving aggressively, or frightening the public or members of the campus community.
  1. The individual with a disability and the handler is responsible for the proper care and supervision of the Animal, including compliance with requirements for licensure, vaccination and identification tags, and all associated costs.
  1. The individual with a disability and the handler is responsible for disposing of Animal waste and the cost of cleaning and repair of University Property required as a result of the Animal’s presence, as determined by the University.
  1. The University may require that any Animal be removed from University Property under certain situations (described below). If removal of a Service or Assistance (Emotional Support) Animal is necessary, the individual with a disability will be given the opportunity to participate in the service, program, or activity without the presence of the Service or Assistance (Emotional Support) Animal.
  1. No Animals are permitted in Limited Access Areas, where the Animal’s presence may compromise a sterile environment.
  1. Service Animals and Service Animals in Training
  1. University employees may not ask an individual about the nature or extent of their disability or for access to medical records or medical providers to determine whether an Animal qualifies as a Service Animal or Service Animal in Training.
  1. The University will not require documentation or proof that a Service Animal or Service Animal in Training has been certified, trained, or licensed as a Service Animal.  Only when it is not readily apparent that an Animal is a Service Animal, the University may ask:
    1. Is this a Service Animal that is required because of a disability; and
    2. What work or tasks has the Service Animal been trained or is it being trained to perform?
  2. The University may deny a Service Animal or Service Animal in Training access to Public Access Areas only if:
    1. the Service Animal is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it;
    2. the Service Animal is not housebroken;
    3. providing a reasonable modification in policies, practices or procedures to avoid discrimination based on disability would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program or activity; or
    4. the presence of the Service Animal would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others.
  3. Before denying a Service Animal access to a Public Access Area on the basis that it would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others, the University must make an individualized assessment. The assessment must be based on reasonable judgment that relies on current medical knowledge or on best available objective evidence to ascertain: the nature, duration, and severity of the risk; the probability that the potential injury will actually occur; and whether reasonable modifications of policies, practices, or procedures will mitigate the risk. For information about an individualized assessment, contact Public Safety at (217) 333-1216, Risk Management at (217) 333-3113, or the Institutional Veterinarian at (217) 333-2564.
  4. In determining whether the presence of a Service Animal in an Animal Facility would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program or activity or would pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others, the University should consider the requirements, if applicable, of the Animal Welfare Act (7 USC §2131 et seq.), the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, and the most recent edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals published by the National Academies Press. For information about an individualized assessment, contact the Institutional Veterinarian at (217) 333-2564.
  5. The University may impose legitimate safety requirements necessary for the safe operation of its services, programs, or activities.
  6.  Owners and handlers of Service Animals in University Housing must comply with the guidelines and requirements at: http://www.housing.illinois.edu/Resources/Policies/Hall-Policies/policies-procedures.
  1. Assistance (Emotional Support) Animals in University Housing:
  1. In the case of a request for an Assistance (Emotional Support) Animal, University Housing may ask:
    1. Does the individual have a disability; and
    2. Does the individual have a need for an assistance animal?
  2. University Housing may verify the existence of the disability and the need for the accommodation if either is not readily apparent. Housing may ask individuals to provide documentation from a physician, psychiatrist or social worker or other mental health professional that the Assistance (Emotional Support) Animal provides support that alleviates at least one identified symptom of the disability.
  3. University Housing may deny the request for an Assistance (Emotional Support) Animal if the specific Animal would:
    1. pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others that cannot be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation;
    2. cause substantial physical damage to the property of others that cannot be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation;
    3. pose an undue financial and administrative burden; or
    4. fundamentally alter the nature of the housing operations.

A determination that an Assistance (Emotional Support) Animal poses a direct threat of harm to others or would cause physical damage to the property of others must be based on an individualized assessment by University Housing that relies on objective evidence about the Assistance (Emotional Support) Animal’s actual conduct and not on speculation or fear or evidence about damage that other Animals have caused.

     4. Owners and handlers of Assistance (Emotional Support) Animals in University Housing must comply with the guidelines and requirements at:

                     http://www.housing.illinois.edu/Resources/Policies/Hall-Policies/policies-procedures.

D. Designations of Limited-Access Areas

Limited Access Areas are designated by the Institutional Biosafety Committee in cooperation with the Office of Access and Equity applying guidance from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (see Guidelines for Infection Control in Health-Care Facilities: Recommendations of CDC and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (June 2003)). The IBC will file all approved designations of Limited Access Areas with the Department of Public Safety.  Contact the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research at OVCR@illinois.edu, 217-333-0034 for more information.

Exceptions

  1. Employees with a disability who request use of an Assistance (Emotional Support) Animal as a reasonable accommodation in the workplace may qualify for an exception to this policy. Contact the Office of Access & Equity at accessandequity@illinois.edu, 217-333-0885, for more information.
  2. Requests for other exceptions should be directed to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research at OVCR@illinois.edu, 217-333-0034 for more information.

Primary Legal Authorities

  • Titles I, II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 USC §§12131-12165; §§12181-12189 and companion regulations at 28 CFR Part 35-36. See also Final Rule at 75 Fed. Reg. 56164 (Sept. 15, 2010).
  • Fair Housing Act, 42 USC 3601, et seq. and companion regulations at 24 CFR Part 100
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 USC §701 et seq. and companion regulations at 10 CFR Part 4
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Health-Care Facilities: Recommendations of CDC and Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (June 2003)
  • Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Notice: FHEO-2013-01: Service Animals and Assistance Animals for People with Disabilities in Housing and HUD-Funded Programs (April 25, 2013).
  • Illinois White Cane Law, 775 ILCS 30
  • Illinois Service Animal Access Act, 720 ILCS 5/48-8

Contact

Associate Vice Chancellor for Research for Compliance, 333-6181