Oregon State University recognizes the importance of allowing people with disabilities who require the use of service or assistance animals to receive the benefit of the work, tasks or therapeutic support provided by such animals while on campus. Service and assistance animals are not the same and perform different functions; they are not interchangeable.

Service Animals

A service animal is a dog or miniature horse as identified by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that are trained to do a task(s) or service directly related to a disability. Service animals have received specialized training to perform work or tasks for their handler. Service animals are allowed access to all areas that are open to the public or to students.

If you are interested in bringing a service animal to live or be present on campus with you please see the OSU Policy on Service & Assistance Animals.

Service animals, while allowed in all areas of campus accessible to students, must be under their handler's control at all times. Some of the handler’s responsibilities while you have your service animal on campus include:

  • Maintain control of your service animal. They should be under leash, harness, hand and/or voice command at all times.
  • The handler is responsible for the behavior of the service animal. Uncontrolled barking, jumping, sniffing, growling and whining, not related to the service the animal is providing, are some examples of unacceptable behavior.
  • The handler is responsible for cleaning up after the animal and must carry equipment to clean up the animal’s feces whenever the animal is on campus.
  • The handler must ensure your animal does not infringe upon aisles or passageways for fire egress. In a lab environment, additional measures might be needed to ensure the safety of the animal. Please see the Guidelines for Service Animals in the Lab/Classroom (Insert Link) for additional information.
  • The handler must ensure all legal requirements have been met for the presence of animals in public places (vaccinations, licensure, ID tags, etc.) mandated by State and/or local ordinances.
  • The handler must accompany your service animal at all times.
  • Identification – it is recommended that a service animal wear recognizable identification. This will alert others that the animal is working and not a pet.

A faculty or a staff member may not inquire about the nature or extent of your disability, but may ask the following questions when it is not readily apparent that the animal is a service animal:

  1. Is the dog/horse required because of a disability? and;
  2. What work or tasks has the dog/horse been trained to perform?

Assistance Animals

An assistance animal is an animal that provides emotional support, comfort or companionship. Assistance animals are not required to have formal training. Assistance animals are not considered service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act and therefore are only permitted in certain areas. Assistance animals are covered under the Fair Housing Act and may be allowed in the Residence Halls if deemed a reasonable accommodation.

If you are interested in bringing a service or an assistance animal to live on campus with you please see the OSU Policy on Service & Assistance Animals. In order to have an assistance animal living in the residence halls, you must complete the On-Campus Housing Accommodation process.

Updated 09/2015