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Service and Emotional Support Animal Accommodation Policy

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I. Policy Statement & Scope

II. Service Animals

III. Emotional Support Animals

IV. Process For Requesting Approval of a Service Animal or ESA

V. Owner Responsibilities for Approved Animals on Campus

VI. Removal of Animal from Residential Housing/Campus

Policy Statement & Scope

This Policy provides the guidelines by which Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals are permitted on College property, and applies to all students, faculty, and staff of the College.

Definitions
Service Animal is defined as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is defined as an assistance animal which offers support to alleviate one or more identified symptoms or effects of an owner’s disability.

Policy
Mount Ida College is committed to providing students, faculty and staff with disabilities equal access to the College’s programs, services, and activities. Animals are generally not permitted on the College campus or in residential housing. Under certain circumstances, approved Service Animals or Emotional Support Animals (ESA) may be permitted on campus as a reasonable accommodation for a student or employee with disabilities. Some animals may also be on campus as part of approved educational programs affiliated with the College.

Animals that are solely pets and kept for companionship are only permitted on the Mount Ida campus in public outdoor spaces, such as sidewalks. Pet owners are expected to keep their animal with them and on a leash at all time and to clean up after their animals. Pets are not allowed inside any indoor spaces owned or controlled by the College, including residential housing.

I. Service Animals

A Service Animal is defined as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.1 The work or tasks performed by a Service Animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability. Other animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, cannot be considered Service Animals for the purposes of this Policy and under the applicable laws. Student owners who plan to keep a Service Animal in residential housing need to register with the Office of Accessibility Services (OA)(accessibility@mountida.edu; 617-928-4648). Employees should work with Human Resources (HR) (hr@mountida.edu; 671-928-4574) regarding their need to have a Service Animal on campus. Service Animals are permitted to accompany their owners in all areas of campus including residential housing and classrooms in accordance with the Owner Responsibilities outlined in this Policy. However, Service Animals may be restricted from certain spaces when their presence would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program or activity; or where the animal’s presence poses a threat to the health or safety of others. The Director of Accessibility Services (for students) or the Chief Human Resources Officer (for employees) will make the determination, on a case-by-case basis, regarding whether the animal should be restricted from an area on campus for these reasons. If a location is restricted to the Service Animal, an interactive processto explore alternate reasonable accommodations will be initiated.

All Service Animals must be housebroken and must remain under the care and supervision of their owner at all time. The Service Animal must be under the owner’s control at all time, on a leash, harness or other tether. Owners are encouraged to have their Service Animals wear an identifyingvest or other indication of their role as a Service Animal. A Service Animal who is out of the owner’s control or who is otherwise in violation of the Owner Responsibilities may be removed from campus. In situations where it is not obvious that the animal is a Service Animal, College staff or faculty may only inquire whether: (1) the animal is a Service Animal required because of a disability and; (2) if the Service Animal has been trained to perform a task related to the disability. College staff or faculty, with the exception of OAS and HR under certain circumstances, will not request any documentation for the Service Animal, request that the Service Animal demonstrate its task, or inquire about the nature of the person’s disability.

II. Emotional Support Animals (ESA)

An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is defined as an assistance animal which offers support to alleviate one or more identified symptoms or effects of an owner’s disability. The ESA may or may not be specifically trained to perform tasks for the owner related to their disability. There must be an identifiable and medically indicated relationship between the individual’s disability and the assistancethat the ESA provides. ESA owners will be required to provide current documentation from a treating physician or mental health care provider regarding the need for an ESA. Students should submit their medical documentation to the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS)  (accessibility@mountida.edu;617-928-4648). Employees should submit their medical documentation to Human Resources (HR) (hr@mountida.edu; 671-928-4574). Dangerous, poisonous, and illegal animals are not permitted as an ESA. Guests to Mount Ida College, who are not students or employees, are not allowed to bring ESAs to campus or into residential housing. 1 Under certain limited circumstances miniature horses may also be considered Service Animals.

Unlike Service Animals, an approved student ESA will only be permitted in a student’s room in residential housing and will not be allowed in any other building or facility on the Mount Ida campus,including classrooms. An ESA should not be in the hallways in residential housing except when being taken outside. A determination regarding where an approved employee ESA will be permitted oncampus will be decided by Human Resources on a case-by-case basis as part of an interactive process regarding disability accommodations.

Like Service Animals, all ESA must be housebroken or maintained in a manner where waste can be contained, cleaned up and disposed of properly. The ESA must remain under the care, supervision and control of their owner at all time. See below for the Owner Responsibilities regarding an ESA allowed on the Mount Ida campus. An ESA who is out of the owner’s control or who is otherwise in violation of the Owner Responsibilities may be removed from campus.

III. Process for Requesting Approval of a Service Animal or ESA

For a Service Animal or Emotional Support Animal (ESA) to be allowed in residential housing, students must register with Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) (accessibility@mountida.edu; 617-928-4648). Students must register with OAS online at http://www.mountida.edu/campuslife/ accessibility-services/make-disability-accommodation-request/ as required for any type of disability accommodation. As part of the accommodation process, students requesting an ESA will need to provide documentation to OAS regarding their medical need for an ESA. Students who will need a Service Animal on campus are encouraged to meet with OAS to discuss any other accommodations that might be needed regarding their disability. Service Animals and ESAs should not be brought into residential housing unless written notice of approval from OAS has been received.

If the request to bring a Service Animal or ESA into residential housing is approved, the Director of Accessibility Services will notify the student owner in writing, who will then be required to sign and return a copy of this Policy, agreeing to all of its provisions. The failure or refusal to sign this Policy may result in a revocation of the approval to have an animal on campus. Each academic year, student owners must submit a written request for review of the approval of their ESA. Any approval of an animal under this Policy is only valid for the academic year in which it was issued. The Director ofAccessibility Services may waive the requirement for an annual review as appropriate.

All roommates of the student owner who will be residing with the Service Animal or ESA will be notified by the Office of Residential Life when an approved animal will be placed in residence with them. If the roommate(s) objects to the placement of the animal in their residence, either the student owner and the animal or the objecting roommate may be moved to another location, as determined by Residential Life. If the roommate(s) objects to the placement of the animal in their residence based on a medical condition (e.g. allergies, asthma), they should contact the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS (accessibility@mountida.edu; 617-928-4648) to discuss whether a disability accommodation in their housing placement regarding that condition is warranted.

If the request to bring a Service Animal or ESA into residential housing is denied, the student owner will be notified in writing. The student owner then has the right to file a grievance regarding thatdenial. Any grievance must be filed with the 504 Coordinator, Sonia Jurado (sjurado@mountida.edu617-928-4024), within five (5) business days after the written denial and will proceed under thegrievance process relating to disability accommodations.

B. Employees (Faculty and Staff)

Employees who require a Service Animal on campus are encouraged to meet with Human Resources to discuss any other accommodations that might be needed regarding their disability. Employees requesting to have an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) on campus must meet with the Chief Human Resources Officer (hr@mountida.edu; 671-928-4574). As with any request for a disability accommodation, the employee will be required to provide timely documentation from a heath care provider which details the employee’s disability and how the animal would helpful to the employee in performing job tasks. If an employee lives in College residential housing, the employee will also need to request a housing accommodation. Human Resources will engage in an interactive dialogue with the employee to clarify the type of accommodation(s) needed and the reasonableness of the request for an ESA as one of those accommodations. Animals should not be brought to campus unless a written notice of approval for this accommodation request has been received

If the request for an ESA is approved, the Chief Human Resources Officer will notify the employee owner in writing. The approval will include a determination regarding where an employee ESA will be permitted on campus, which is decided on a case-by-case basis as part of the interactive process. The College reserves the right to allow an ESA for an employee on a trial basis. Once approved, the employee owner will be required to sign and return a copy of this Policy, agreeing to all of its provisions. Failure or refusal to sign this Policy within five (5) business days of the notice of approvalwill result in a revocation of the approval. Each academic year, employees must submit a request for review of the approval of the ESA. Any approval of an ESA under this Policy is only valid for the academic year in which it was issued. The Chief Human Resources Officer may waive the requirement for an annual review as appropriate.

If another employee objects to the presence of a Service Animal or ESA in their workplace based on a medical condition (e.g. allergies, asthma), they will need to meet with the Chief Human Resources Officer (hr@mountida.edu; 671-928-4574) to discuss a disability accommodation regarding that condition and to provide timely medical documentation.

If the request for a Service Animal or ESA is denied, the employee owner will be notified in writing.The employee owner then has the right to file a grievance regarding that denial. Any grievance must be filed with the 504 Coordinator, Sonia Jurado (sjurado@mountida.edu; 617-928-4024), within five (5) business days after the written denial and will proceed under the grievance process relating to disability accommodations.

IV. Owner Responsibilities for Approved Animals on Campus

The “Owner” of a Service Animal or Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is defined as the student or employee (faculty or staff) with the disability who is the primary handler of that animal. In order tomaintain a Service Animal or ESA (“animal”) on campus, the Owner must comply with all of the following conditions. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in the removal of the animal from campus.

  • The Owner will be responsible for the conduct of the animal at all times.
  • The animal must be under the control of the Owner at all times, either on a leash, harness or other tether. When the Owner is not present in their residence on campus, animal must be placed in an appropriate crate or carrier.
  • The animal must not adversely affect routine activities on campus nor be disruptive to the environment. If disruptive behavior occurs, the Owner is expected to utilize appropriate humane techniques to deal with the behavior immediately.
  • The animal cannot disrupt the environment. Examples of disruptive behavior include but are not limited to barking, meowing, scratching, screeching, growling or making other noises. The animal may not disturb, annoy or cause any nuisance to other residents, including those living with the Owner.
  • The animal cannot pose a threat to the health or safety of others. The Owner is responsible for any injury to others or damage to property caused by the animal.
  • The animal must be well cared for, clean, well-groomed and be in good health. The care of the animal is the sole responsibility of the Owner.
  • The animal’s vaccinations must be kept current and rabies vaccination tags (if applicable) must be displayed at all times. The animal must be licensed as required by the city of Newton. The Owner may be required to provide proof of vaccination and licensing to the College.
  • The Owner must maintain their residence with the animal in a clean and sanitary condition and control odors. The College reserves the right to inspect the owner’s residence to ensure that sanitary and safe conditions are being maintained. The Owner will be financially responsible for any expenses required for cleaning beyond routine maintenance. The College shall have the right to bill the Owner’s account for unmet obligations under this provision.
  • The animal must be housebroken or maintained in a manner where waste can be contained and cleaned up. All waste must be disposed of properly.
  • The Owner must provide flea and tick control for the animal at all times (as applicable). If fleas, ticks or other pests are detected in the residence through routine inspection, they will be addressed by a College-approved pest control service. The Owner will be billed for the expense of any pest treatment beyond standard pest management in the residence halls. The College shall have the right to bill the Owner’s account for unmet obligations under this provision.
  • The Owner may not leave the animal for extended periods or overnight. If the Owner is leaving campus for more than a few hours, the animal must accompany the Owner. The Owner may not leave the animal in the care of others while on campus. The animal must be kept in an appropriate crate or carrier when the Owner is not present.
  • The animal may not pose an undue financial or administrative burden to the College
  • The Owner must notify the Office of Residential Life and the Director of Accessibility Services (accessibility@mountida.edu; 617-928-4648) or, in the case of employees, the Chief Human Resources Officer (hr@mountida.edu; 671-928-4574) in writing if the approved animal is no longer needed or is no longer in residence. To replace an approved animal with a different animal, the Owner must file a new request in writing to the Director of Accessibility Services or the Chief Human Resources Officer.
  • The Owner agrees to continue to abide by all other residential and College policies.
  • The Owner understands that the animals is their personal property and the College is not liable for any theft, loss, or injury to the animal. The College’s approval of a Service Animal or ESA is contingent on the Owner’s compliance with these responsibilities. The Owner’s failure to comply with these responsibilities can result in the removal of the animal from residential housing and/or campus as discussed below.

IV. Owner Responsibilities for Approved Animals on Campus

The College reserves the right to remove an animal from campus and/or from residential housing and to revoke any prior approval under the following circumstances

  • The College has determined that the animal poses a health or safety concern to the community.
  • The animal’s behavior has become disruptive to the community.
  • The College discovers that false or misleading information was provided by the Owner in support of the approval of the animal. This discovery may lead to other disciplinary concerns in the appropriate conduct process.
  • The animal was not approved by the College.

Any member of the Mount Ida community may submit a complaint about a Service Animal or ESA believed to be in violation of the requirements of this Policy. Complaints can be submitted to Residence Life staff, the Director of Community Standards (communitystandards@mountida.edu617-928-4024), the Director of Accessibility Services (accessibility@mountida.edu; 617-928-4648) or the Chief Human Resources Officer (hr@mountida.edu; 671-928-4574). The Director of Community Standards will be responsible for addressing complaints regarding student Service Animals or ESAs through the appropriate conduct process. The Chief Human Resources Officer (hr@mountida.edu;671-928-4574) will be responsible for addressing complaints regarding employee Service Animals or ESAs. Retaliation against anyone submitting a complaint or reporting concerns under this Policy or otherwise participating in a College inquiry or investigation is prohibited.

V. Removal of Animal from Residential Housing/Campus

At the College’s discretion, the Owner may be given notice of the concern or failure to comply with the Policy and a may be given a reasonable time to correct the violation. If the Owner is found to be violation of this Policy, and the violation is not/cannot be remedied, the College can (1) remove the animal from residential housing, (2) relocate the Owner and animal within residential housing, and/or (3) remove the animal from campus completely. A determination regarding whether this Policy has been violated and the appropriate sanction, including but not limited to the removal of an animal from campus, will be made through the appropriate Community Standards conduct process for students or by the Chief Human Resources Officer (hr@mountida.edu671-928-4574)  for employees. The student/employee will receive written notification when an animal is to be removed from campus/housing or relocated or when the approval for that animal has been revoked. If a previously approved animal is removed from residential housing by the College for any reason, the Owner is expected to fulfill their housing obligations for the remainder of the housing contract. A student or employee has the right to file a grievance regarding the College’s decision to remove an animal from campus or residential housing. Any grievance must be filed with the 504 Coordinator, Sonia Jurado (sjurado@mountida.edu; 617-928-4024), within five (5) business days after the written notification of removal, relocation or revocation and will proceed under the grievance process relating to disability accommodations.

VI. Owner Acknowledgement and Agreement

By their signature below, the Owner acknowledges that they have read this Policy in its entirety,understand its provisions and agree to abide by its terms. The Owner further acknowledges that failure to comply with the responsibilities outlined in this Policy may result in revocation of the approval of their Service Animal or ESA and may result in the removal of that animal from housing and/or campus.