Wallace State Community College is committed to assuring equal access for students with disabilities as well as guests that may visit campus. It is the College’s policy to permit service animals, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, on a case-by-case basis, to be present in classrooms and/or dorm rooms. The policy and requirements are designed to allow equal access while addressing health and safety concerns, particularly in classrooms and/or dorm rooms.
Service animals have been individually trained to do work or perform certain tasks for people with disabilities. (There is an exception that allows miniature horses). Service animals (including puppies and trainees) are identified to the faculty, staff, and community by a harness, service animal vest, and/or other identifying gear noting that it is a service animal. If there is no identifying gear, faculty or staff may ask two permissible questions:
- Is the service animal required because of a disability?
- What tasks is your service animal trained to perform?
The work or task a service animal has been trained to perform must be directly related to the person’s disability. Service animals are allowed in all areas where the general public is allowed. The service animal must be under the control of the person with a disability at all times and must be housebroken. The owner is responsible for the well-being and cleanliness of his/her service animal. The owner is also responsible for the removal of animal waste and maintaining clean conditions for the service animal. The service animal must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered unless the services or task provided would be impeded.
Allergies and/or fear of service animals are not acceptable reasons for excluding a service animal, however, it is appropriate to cooperate with others who may have allergies or other conflicting disabilities. Individuals with conflicting disabilities may be asked to provide proper documentation of the disability to determine a reasonable solution for both individuals with a disability.
A support animal is not trained to do work or perform certain task(s) and is used for therapeutic benefits. The Fair Housing Act allows for the accommodation of support animals in public housing, i.e. dorm rooms. These animals are not necessarily allowed in places the general public is allowed; hence, support animals may be excluded from classrooms or commons areas of dorms. Additionally, it cannot be an animal that poses a health or safety threat to other individuals.
Student’s requesting to have a support animal residing in the dorms must register the animal with the ADA Office and provide medical documentation of a disability which also describes the assistance the animal provides for this type of accommodation. Any student requesting the presence of a support animal in a dorm room must make the request no later than 30 days before rooms are assigned before each semester. All documentation will be reviewed by the ADA Office, the Vice President for Students, and the Auxiliary Director.
Once a determination is made, the student will be notified and will coordinate a plan with the Auxiliary Director for proper care and control of the animal. The student must complete an “Application to Utilize Service or Support Animal in Campus Housing” and sign a form acknowledging that he/she has read, understands and agrees to the policies and procedures established by Wallace State Community College for maintaining an animal in the dorm. If the student does not comply with the policies and procedures, the College has the right to remove the animal from campus housing at the student’s expense.
Policies and Procedures for Utilizing a Service or Support Animal in Campus Housing
Students must adhere to the following policies and procedures to maintain an animal in campus housing. Failure to follow the policies and procedures will result in the animal being removed from campus property.
Guidelines for Requesting Service or Support Animals in Campus Housing
Please complete these steps before bringing, except in extreme circumstances, a service or support animal to campus housing. The process must be completed at least 30 days before the beginning of the semester that the student intends for the animal to accompany him/her in the dorm.
- The owner is responsible to attend to and be in full control of the animal at all times. The animal shall be harnessed, be leashed, and/or be placed in an appropriate enclosed container when transported outside the dorm room where it is housed. Service animals may travel freely with the student throughout campus except where restrictions may apply due to health and safety reasons. Support animals are not allowed in common areas and/or other public areas while on campus.
- In shared living spaces, the animal should be in an appropriate container/kennel if the owner is not in the room with the animal.
- The owner is responsible for following rules pertaining to the animal. Service animals are allowed in all public areas; however, support animals must be confined to the student’s dorm room.
- The owner is responsible for the cost of care necessary for the animal’s well-being, including, but not limited to, veterinary care. The arrangements and responsibilities for the care of the animal are the sole responsibility of the owner at all times, including regular bathing and grooming, as needed.
- The owner may not leave the animal for an unreasonable length of time. The animal cannot be left alone overnight or weekends. If the student leaves overnight or during campus breaks, the animal (regardless of species) cannot stay in the room.
- The owner is responsible for removing the animal’s waste. Waste must be disposed of in a sealed bag in the designated trash area outside of the dormitory. If the animal voids on the floor or carpet anywhere inside campus housing, the student is responsible to clean up promptly as well as notify the housing office for the area to be properly disinfected. The student must pay all costs associated with such clean up. All animals must be housebroken and/or have an approved waste management plan. The College reserves the right to withdraw approval of a waste management plan for health, safety, or environmental reasons. Such care shall be at the expense of the owner.
- The animal must be immunized against diseases common to that type of animal. Animals, where appropriate, must have current vaccination against rabies and wear a rabies vaccination tag. Animals residing in campus housing must have an annual clean bill of health from a licensed veterinarian. Documentation can be a vaccination certificate for the animal or a veterinarian’s statement regarding the animal’s health. Also, service animals and support animals must be treated regularly for fleas and ticks. The College has the authority to direct that the animal receives veterinary attention.
- The owner is responsible for paying for any damage to campus property, including but not limited to, the replacement of furniture, carpet, windows, wall coverings, etc. In addition, the owner is responsible for any pest control that may be needed due to the animal’s hygiene, including but not limited to, fleas, ticks, or other insects, parasites, or vermin. The owner will pay for expenses at the time of repair or pest control and/or move out. The College has the right to bill the student’s account for repairs or pest control; failure to pay will result in the student’s account having a hold placed on it.
- Residents in the room with the animal must sign an agreement approving the animal to reside in the dorm room with them. In the event the roommate does not sign an agreement, either the owner of the animal, or the non-approving roommate, may be moved to a different location. Relocation can only be determined by the Auxiliary Department.
- The owner is responsible for notifying the Auxiliary Office in writing if the animal is no longer needed.
- The student must register with the Wallace State Americans with Disability Act (ADA) Office located in the Bailey Building, room 804. The student must provide proper documentation of a disability and the documentation must provide rationale for the need and/or use of an animal in a dorm room. Merely providing documentation does not register a student with the ADA Office. Please refer to the College Catalog or the ADA Student Handbook for more detailed information about how to register and receive accommodations on campus.
- Once the student has registered with the ADA Office, the student must complete an “Application to Utilize Service or Support Animal in Campus Housing.” Veterinarian documentation must be attached to the application stating that the animal has been immunized against diseases common to that type of animal and that the animal does not pose any obvious threat to other campus residents living in a group environment. Obtaining this documentation will be at the expense of the student.
- The student will also receive a list of policies and procedures for an animal to live in campus housing. The student must sign a form acknowledging that he/she has read, understands, and agrees with the policies and procedures established by Wallace State Community College for maintaining an animal in the dorm and the consequences for noncompliance with such policies and procedures.
- The ADA Office, Auxiliary Office, and Vice President for Students will evaluate the application. The Auxiliary Department will notify the student of the application’s status, or if additional information is needed.
- Please be aware that if the animal is removed from campus, it will not be allowed to return to campus without the approval of the Vice President for Students. Any cost for the removal of the animal will be charged to the student’s account.
Access the Application to Utilize Service or Support Animal in Campus Housing application at https://www.wallacestate.edu/non-discrimination/ada-forms, or contact Director of Special Populations at 256.352.8052.