Policies

Service Animals

Service Animals

 Below is the Central College policy on service animals.  It includes resources to assist students, faculty, and staff in understanding the parameters surrounding the use of a service animal. (Updated June 3, 2016)

About Service Animals and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Service animals are defined as dogs or miniature horses that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a service animal has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability.  Animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

-ADA 2010 Revised Requirements, US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division

Scope

This policy applies to any service animal whose user or handler is participating in the College’s programs, activities, or housing.  This policy includes students, employees and third parties/visitors.  The policy applies to all service animals, including working service animals, service animals in training and service puppies.  This policy does not apply to other animals on campus, including pets, emotional support animals, or research animals.  Links to the policies concerning these categories are provided elsewhere.

Policy

It is the policy of Central College that service animals assisting individuals with disabilities are generally permitted in all Central College facilities, programs, and activities except as described below or otherwise governed by applicable law.  All information concerning the service animal should be coordinated through the Title IX Coordinator.

Title IX Coordinator
Maytag Center 224
641-628-5249

User/Handler Responsibilities

While access rights are legally afforded to users of service animals, that access is accompanied by the responsibility of ensuring that animals act and respond appropriately at all times while in public and that users/handlers adhere to the same socially accepted standards of behavior as other members of the College community. Users/handlers are responsible for ensuring the safety of their service animals.

Control Requirements

Financial Responsibility

A person who has a service animal on campus (including residence facilities) is financially responsible for property damage caused by his or her service animal including but not limited to cost of repairs, replacement or cleaning of facilities or furnishings, and any bodily injury or personal injury caused to other persons by the service animal.

Relief Areas

Students with service animals residing on campus are asked to meet with the Title IX Coordinator who will coordinate with the Assistant Dean of Students (Residence Life/Safety) and Facilities Planning and Management personnel to designate, on an individual basis, appropriate relief areas.  

Licensing

If the animal is residing on campus it must meet Iowa/City of Pella licensing requirements and wear tags designating this license.  If the animal accompanies a commuter student, employee or other campus visitor and resides in another locale, the animal must meet the licensing requirements of the user/handler's resident town and wear tags indicating this licensing. Record of animal license is requested by Residence Life for service animals who reside on campus.

Health/Vaccinations

Students

We encourage, but do not require, students to make themselves known to the College should they desire to have a service animal accompany them in academic classes, activities, or services on campus.

If a student plans to have their service animal live with them in residence, we ask that you provide notice to the Title IX Coordinator particularly if seeking accommodations for that animal.  Notice to the College will occur through the Title IX Coordinator to the Assistant Dean of Students (Residence Life/Safety) and is used solely to ensure the appropriate housing placement is made.

Employees

Employee questions on service animals or requests to have a service animal at work, shall be coordinated through the Title IX Coordinator.  

Visitors/Temporary Residents

Service animals accompanying individuals with disabilities are welcome in all areas of campus that are open to the public (except in situations determined to apply under section 10, below). Specific questions related to the use of service animals on the campus by visitors can be directed to the Title IX Coordinator at 641-628-5249.

Reasons for Exclusion of a Service Animal

Valid Reasons

There are only two instances where a service animal can denied access to the premises:

  1. if the animal is out of control and the handler does not take action to control the animal, or
  2. the animal is not housebroken.

If a service animal is determined to be out of control (e.g., displaying vicious behavior towards people; excessive barking, running around, nipping) or is not housebroken, the owner may be subject to action within the College’s disciplinary process.  The infraction will be reviewed on an individual basis through the Title IX Coordinator. The parties above may consult, as needed, with the appropriate College officials.

When one of these reasons occur and the animal is made to leave the premise, accommodations will be made for the individual to still received help/goods/services without the aid of their service animal. 

Invalid Reasons

Conflicting Disabilities

Allergic reactions to animals are common. Persons who have asthma, allergies, or other medical conditions affected by the presence of animals are asked to contact the Title IX Coordinator.  The person impacted by the presence of the animal must provide verifiable medical documentation to support their claim.  The needs of both persons will be considered in resolving the issue.

If an allergy/animal conflict within a residence hall cannot be resolved agreeably, then the Title IX Coordinator will determine a solution. Please note that if a person using a service animal was assigned to a residence hall before the person with the medical reaction, the person utilizing the service animal will not be removed to accommodate the second person.

Other Illegal Practices

Emergency Situations

In the event of an emergency, on campus personnel designated to respond are expected to recognize service animals and their role in communicating their partners' need for assistance.  The handler and/or animal may be confused or disoriented in a stressful situation due to smoke, sirens, wind noise or by shaking and moving ground.  Response personnel should be aware that animals may be protective in their confusion and should not be considered harmful. The responders should make every effort to keep the animal with its partner.  The handler should make every effort to control the animal during an emergency situation and be prepared to muzzle or restrain the animal as needed.  Students or employees with service animals regularly on campus (either in residence or in the workplace) are encouraged to develop an individual evacuation plan (IEP) with the College. Contact the Title IX Coordinator to establish an individual IEP.

Restricted Areas

The College may restrict the use of service animals in certain locations.  Service animals may be restricted when their presence would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program or activity; or where the animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others. The safety of locations will be considered on an individual basis by the Title IX Coordinator in consultation with the laboratory director or professor, and the College risk management team. If a location is determined to be unsafe, reasonable accommodations will be provided to ensure the individual equal access to the activity.

Complaints, Grievances, and Appeals

Any claims of discrimination on the basis of a disability or failure to provide reasonable accommodations regarding the use of a service animal on campus may be brought by any person (student, faculty, staff, or visitor) pursuant to the College’s Grievance Procedures to the Title IX Coordinator.  Prior to filing a formal grievance, a complaint may be considered for informal resolution.  The Title IX Coordinator may be reached by visiting Maytag 224 or calling 641-628-5249.

Policy Exceptions

Individuals wishing to request a modification or exception to this policy as a reasonable accommodation should make their request to the Title IX Coordinator by visiting Maytag 224 or calling 641-628-5249.

Public Etiquette Concerning Service Animals on Campus

A service animal is not a pet; it is as necessary as a wheelchair to someone with a mobility impairment or a guide cane to someone with a visual impairment.

Questions for a Handler of a Service Animal

In order to protect both their privacy and dignity, the ADA restricts what staff and/or the institution can ask of an individual who wishes to access an area with a service animal.

Employees may ask only two questions (These are the only two questions that may legally be asked; other questions infringe on the individual's right to privacy):

  1. Is the service animal required because of a disability?
  2. What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?

What should you NOT ask a handler?