Emotional Support Animals

Animals on Campus


    • Service Animal: any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler’s disability. Examples of such work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.
    • Handler: the individual with a disability, as defined under federal and state law, who uses a service animal to perform a work or task directly related to the individual’s disability. A Handler may also be a personal care attendant who handles the animal for a person with a disability.
    • Service Animals in Training: dogs that are being trained by a trainer identified as an agent or employee of an agent specialized in training dogs to become service animals.
    • Emotional Support Animal (ESA): any animal providing emotional support, well-being, or comfort that eases one or more identified symptoms or effects of a documented disability. Emotional support animals may also be referred to as a comfort or therapy animals.  Emotional support animals are not individually trained to perform specific work or tasks. Pets (as defined below) are not considered ESAs. An ESA is not limited to dogs, however, USCB reserves the right to exclude certain animals from campus.
    • Pet: any animal kept for ordinary use and companionship that does not meet the definition of an ESA. Fish are the only animals permitted within the university residence halls. Fish are defined as animals with fins and gills, living under water, in a 10-gallon or less aquarium, 24 hours a day. No other pets are permitted in any residence hall. The Office of Housing & Student Conduct reserves the right to require immediate removal of the pet(s) and charge the resident(s) for all costs incurred in the process of removing the pet(s). Any cost associated with the possession of a pet, including damaged furniture, cleaning, pest control, etc. will be charged to the residents of the apartment. Additionally, residents found responsible for violating the Pets and Animals policy will be subject to a $200 fine.


    • Service Animal Access:
      • Service Animals must be allowed to accompany Handlers in all areas of USCB, subject to the restrictions outlined below.  
      • When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed.  See Policy on Service Animals below.  Employees cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.
    • Emotional Support Animal Access:
      • ESAs are not allowed to accompany persons with disabilities in public buildings at USCB. ESAs are allowed in a student’s assigned University Housing unit after approval has been received from Accessibility Services.
      • Only one ESA will be permitted for each student. ESAs are restricted to the student’s apartment and only allowed outside the apartment to care for the animal outside of the building or to leave the building with the animal.
      • ESAs are not permitted inside any other University facilities.
      • ESAs of visitors or students not residing in University housing are not permitted in any University facility.
    • Pet Access:
      • Except as permitted by USCB Housing policies, pets are not allowed in any USCB facility.
    • USCB Policy on Service Animals


    • Students who wish to bring a service animal to campus are strongly encouraged to partner with the Accessibility Services Office, especially if other academic accommodations are required. Additionally, students who plan to live in on-campus housing are strongly encouraged to inform Housing and Dining Services that they plan to have a service animal with them in student housing.
    • Advance notice of a service animal for on-campus housing may allow more flexibility in meeting student’s specific requests for housing.
    • Service animals and ESAs must be under close and direct physical control of the handler at all times by means of an appropriate leash or other lead when outside of the handler/owners University residence.
    • If the handler is unable to use these restraints because of their disability or because use would interfere with the safe and effective performance of work or tasks, then the animal must be under the handler’s control by voice, signals, or other effective means.
    • All are prohibited from transferring control to another person even momentarily, requesting the assistance of other persons in supervising or controlling their animals or otherwise leaving the presence of their animals for any period of time while on USCB facilities.
    • ESA owners are responsible for ensuring that the animal is contained (i.e., crate or kennel) appropriately when not present in the residence hall.
    • All must ensure that their animals are kept clean and are well-groomed and kept in a healthy, clean environment.
    • All are responsible for ensuring that their animal is housebroken. In the event of an isolated incident of a service animal failing to control its bodily eliminations due to illness or accident, the handler is responsible for immediately and properly cleaning up and disposing of any bodily fluids or solid waste. ESA owners are responsible for clean-up and removal of animal waste. All are responsible for maintaining their animals in a sanitary and clean manner in the residence halls.
    • Handlers and ESA owners shall be liable for any and all resulting costs when an animal causes damage to a USCB facility or property or injury to a person.
    • All animals must be in compliance with state and local laws regarding health, vaccination, and care of the particular type of animal.


    • Out of Control Animal: Handlers will be asked to remove any animal if it is out of control and the handler does not take effective and immediate action to control it. If the out-of-control behavior happens repeatedly, the handler may be prohibited from bringing the animal into University facilities until the handler can demonstrate that significant steps have been taken to correct and control the behavior.
    • Non-housebroken/unsanitary animal: A handler may be directed to remove an animal that is not housebroken or if the animal’s environment is not maintained in a healthy, sanitary environment or the animal is not kept clean and well-groomed.
    • Direct threat: An animal that poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others that cannot be reduced or eliminated by reasonable modifications is not permitted on campus. An example would be an animal that exhibits aggression or has injured another person or animal.
    • Improper/Inadequate Care: Failure to properly care for an animal will result in a referral to the Office of Student Conduct for investigation. If USCB determines a student is neglecting or mistreating an animal, the animal will be removed from USCB property.


    • USCB is committed to allowing students with mental health impairment/psychological disabilities the use of an approved emotional support animal (ESA), as appropriate, in campus housing to facilitate the full benefit of the residential experience. For students living on campus, the Fair Housing Act (FHA) provides that emotional support animals may be considered a reasonable accommodation in campus housing. Students with a mental health impairment/disability-related need for an emotional support animal should follow the procedure listed below to begin their request.
    • All documentation (Accessibility Services Intake form and ESA Provider form) for ESAs should be submitted two weeks prior to the start of the semester to allow for a thorough review. Forms received after that date may not be approved until the start of the following semester.
      • Step 1: Students should begin the process of requesting an ESA by completing the Emotional Support Animal Intake Form. This form will ask you to login using your USCB username and password.
      • Step 2: Within 3-5 business days of receipt of your Accessibility Services Intake form, you will receive an email containing the USCB ESA Provider form. The USCB ESA Provider form is to be completed by a licensed physician, mental health provider, or other mental health professional who can attest:
        1. That the individual qualifies as a person with a disability and specifically identify the diagnosis and functional limitation(s);
        2. That the ESA is necessary to provide the person with a disability an equal opportunity to enjoy the use of the residence hall;
        3. That there is an identifiable and documented nexus between the disability and the assistance that the animal provides by describing how the use of the ESA in the residence is necessary or required to mitigate the impact of the functional limitation(s); and
        4. That the documenting licensed physician, mental health provider, or other mental health professional has a documented history of treating the student for the underlying disability.
      • Step 3: Your licensed provider will fax the completed provider form back to USCB Counseling and Accessibility Services. Accessibility Services will review all information and documentation and follow-up with the student. The student may be asked to provide additional information and/or will be asked to come in for a meeting to discuss the request. Please allow 7-10 business days for Accessibility Services to review however, this timeline may vary.
      • Step 4: Student will be notified of approval by receipt of a Housing Accommodation letter via their USCB email. Accessibility Services will notify housing via email of students’ ESA approval, approved ESA, name, and breed of the approved ESA. Student will then complete the ESA Housing Contract and submit their ESAs current vet records to housing.
      • Step 5: Housing will send Roommate Agreement to ESA owner’s roommates. If a roommate does not wish to live with an ESA, have an allergy to animals, etc., housing will assist student with ESA in finding a different apartment.
      • Step 6: Student may bring ESA into USCB housing only after the student has received their Housing Accommodations letter, completed the ESA Housing Contract, submitted updated vet records, and received notification from housing that they are clear to move the ESA in.


    • Students will generally only be approved for one ESA.
    • Evaluating ESA requests takes time. Decisions regarding ESA requests can only be reached after appropriate documentation for the disability has been received and reviewed and an intake meeting with the student has taken place. Students should not bring an animal to campus until final approval is given.
    • Consideration may be given to how the animal could impact the style and size of the living space.
    • Requests for unique animals, such as those not commonly kept in households, may require additional documentation which demonstrates a disability-related therapeutic need for the specific animal or the specific type of animal. Animals with a potential rick of zoonosis may not be approved.

Contact accessibility@uscb.edu with questions.