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Oregon State University recognizes the importance of the support and services that can be provided to people with disabilities by animals.
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 are trained to do a task(s) or service directly related to the handlers’ 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 review 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 the service animal is on campus include:
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:
An assistance animal (ESA) is an animal that provides emotional support, comfort or companionship for a person with a 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 allowed in the Residence Halls if deemed a reasonable accommodation.
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:
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 or service animal living in the residence halls, you must complete the On-Campus Housing Accommodation process detailed in Chapter 24.