Oregon State University recognizes the importance of the support and services animals can provide to people with disabilities. 

However, service animals and assistance animals, (also known as Emotional Support Animals, or ESA’s), are not the same and are not interchangeable. They perform different functions. 


A service animal is a dog or miniature horse as identified by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that is trained to do (a) task(s) or service(s) directly related to the handlers’ disability. Service animals have received specialized training to perform work or tasks for their handler as related to their disability. Service animals are allowed in all areas that are open to the general public. This includes the library, general offices, financial aid, registrar, public dining halls and general public events, etc. 

If a student interested in bringing a service animal to live or be present on campus with them, please review the OSU Policy on Service & Assistance Animals.  

DAS strongly encourages all students with a service animal that will be accompanying them on campus to apply to DAS. (See Chapter 2, Applying with DAS). This is not required. However, by using DAS services, students will have the ability to inform their instructors in advance that they will have a service animal in the classroom, lab, etc. 

 Voluntary Service Animal Registration and ID 

To support our students with service animals on the campus, DAS has developed a voluntary service animal registration process. Once a student applies to DAS, the DAS staff will work with the student to obtain an OSU ID badge for their service animal at no cost to the student. The service animal ID badge will include a picture of the service animal, the handler’s name, the animal’s name and indicate this is a DAS approved service animal.  

If you are planning to live in an OSU residential facility and bring a service animal with you, please follow the steps outlined in Chapter 24 (On-Campus Housing Accommodations). 

Important Information Regarding Service Animals

The handler's responsibilities while the service animal is on campus include the following (depending on the environment, additional responsibilities may be necessary): 

  • Maintain control of your service animal. The animal should be under leash, harness, hand and/or voice command at all times. 

  • The handler is responsible for the behavior of the service animal. Some examples of unacceptable behavior include uncontrolled barking, jumping, sniffing, growling and whining, etc., if not related to a specific service the animal is providing. 

  • 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 the service animal does not infringe upon aisles or passageways for fire egress. In a lab environment, additional measures may be needed to ensure the safety of the animal.  

  • The handler must ensure all legal requirements have been met for an animal in public places (vaccinations, licensure, ID tags, etc.) mandated by State and/or local ordinances in order for the animal to be on campus. 

  • The handler must accompany the service animal at all times. 

  • While it is not required, 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 make two (2) inquiries when it is not readily apparent that the animal is a service animal: 

  1. Is the dog/horse required because of a disability? and; 

  1. What work or tasks has the dog/horse been specifically trained to perform related to your disability? 


An assistance animal (ESA) is an animal that provides emotional support, comfort or companionship for a person with a disability to mitigate the impacts of the disability. 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 considered a reasonable accommodation in the residential environment if deemed necessary for the student to have equal access to the residential environment. 

A student who has been approved for an assistance animal in University Housing must adhere to guidelines for maintaining their animal in the residential environment. This includes but is not limited to: 

  • The animal must be healthy and up to date on any county or state required vaccinations. This includes having completed its first full set of vaccinations (this usually means the animal is at least 6 months of age). 

  • The animal cannot pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others. 

  • The animal must be housebroken and crate-trained. This does not pertain to animals already living in a container/cage. 

  • The animal must effectively be under the handler’s control at all times. 

  • Live feed is not approved for ESAs living in the residential environment at OSU. 

If a student is interested in bringing a service or an assistance animal to live on campus with them, please review the OSU Policy on Service & Assistance Animals

Please review the guidelines DAS Animal Guidelines for additional information.  

In order to have an assistance animal or service animal living in the residence halls, you must complete the On-Campus Housing Accommodation process detailed in Chapter 24.  



Updated 8/2022