The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) defines a service animal as “a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability." Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals and not pets. If an animal meets this definition, it is considered a service animal regardless of whether it has been licensed or certified by a state or local government or a training program.
Animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA. For more information about emotional support animals, please refer to the College’s Emotional Support Animal Policy and Agreement.
The ADA allows service animals accompanying persons with disabilities to be on Juniata College’s campus. A service animal must be permitted “to accompany people with disabilities in all areas where members of the public are allowed to go.” Students with a service animal are permitted everywhere on campus where students are allowed to go, including food service locations, except in situations where safety may be compromised or where the animal’s presence may compromise a sterile environment.
The person’s disability may not be visible. If you are not sure whether an animal is a service animal and you question its appropriateness, please contact the Director of Disability Services. The director will follow up with the individual to ask the following two questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform. Campus personnel cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.
A service dog can be any breed or size. It might wear specialized equipment such as a backpack, harness, or special collar or leash, but this is not a legal requirement.
Students, faculty, and staff should know the following about service animals:
· Do not pet a service animal without first asking permission; touching the animal might distract it from its work.
· Speak first to the person.
· Do not deliberately startle a service animal.
· Do not feed a service animal.
· Do not separate or attempt to separate a person from their service animal.
· In case of an emergency, every effort will be made to keep the animal with its person.
The following are requirements of persons and their service animals:
· The animal cannot pose a direct threat to the health and safety of anyone on the college campus. If the animal is aggressive, out of control, and/or not housebroken, it will need to be removed from campus.
· In situations involving a person with allergies or fear of dogs, efforts should be made to accommodate both the affected person and the person with a service animal.
· Local ordinances regarding animals apply to service animals, including requirements for immunization and licensing.
· The person must be in full control of the animal at all times. Service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.
· The person is responsible for cleaning up the animal’s waste. The person should always carry equipment and bags sufficient to clean up and properly dispose of the animal’s waste. Persons who are not physically able to pick up and dispose of waste are responsible for making all necessary arrangements for assistance. The College is not responsible for these services.
· The animal should be appropriately taken care of and in good health.
· In keeping with appropriate college policies and procedures, the person may be charged for damage caused by the person or the service animal.
· A student with a disability planning to have a service animal in residence in campus housing is encouraged to consult with the Director of Disability Services.
For questions regarding this policy, please contact the Director of Disability Services.