Service animals are animals trained to assist people with disabilities in the activities of daily living.  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) definition of a service animal is: “...any dog that is individually trained to do work and perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals who are hearing impaired to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair or fetching dropped items.”  If an animal meets this definition, it is considered a service animal regardless of whether it has been licensed or certified by a state or local government training program. This policy differentiates “service animals” from “pets,” denotes campus locations that could be off-limits to service animals, and sets behavioral guidelines for service animals.

Students with service animals are encouraged, but not required, to register their animal with Disability Services. Service animals without license or certification should visit with Disability Services.  Visit the Office of Disability Services page on Assistance Animal/Emotional Support Animals for more information on registering your animal.

The ADA, 49-4-203(2), MCA, and university policy allows service animals to accompany individuals with disabilities in all areas of the institution where students are normally allowed to go.  There may be some areas of the university that restrict the admittance of service animals for the following reasons:

Research laboratories whereby the natural organisms carried by animals may negatively affect the outcome of the research.

Mechanical Rooms/Custodial Closets that house equipment that may be harmful to animals.

Areas where protective clothing is necessary such as woodshops, foundry, and machine shops.

Access to these areas may be granted on a case-by-case basis and requests for access should be addressed to the Office of Disability Services or the Office of Institutional Equity.

Definitions

Pet - a domestic animal kept for pleasure or companionship.  Pets are not permitted in university facilities.

Therapy animal - an animal with a good temperament and disposition, which has reliable, predictable behavior, selected to visit people with disabilities as a therapy tool. 

The animal may be incorporated as an integral part of a treatment process.  A therapy animal does not assist an individual with a disability in the activities of daily living and does not accompany an individual with a disability all the time.  A therapy animal is not covered by laws that give rights to service animals, but may be approved in on campus Residence Halls on a case-by-case basis.

Partner/Handler - a person with a service animal.  A person with a disability is called a partner; a person without a disability is called a handler.

Trainee - an animal undergoing training to become a service animal.  A trainee will be housebroken and fully socialized.  To be fully socialized means the animal will not, except under rare conditions, bark, yip, growl, or make disruptive noises; will have a good disposition; will not be upset or agitated when it sees another animal; and will not be aggressive.  A trainee will be under the control of the handler, who may or may not have a disability.

Requirements of Service Animals and their Partners/Handlers

Vaccination - The animal must be immunized against diseases common to that type of animal.  Dogs must have had the general maintenance vaccine series, which includes vaccinations against rabies, distemper and parvovirus.  Other animals must have had the appropriate vaccination series for the type of animal.  All vaccinations must be current.  Dogs must wear a rabies vaccination tag.

Licensing - Will be in accordance with The City of Bozeman. 

Health - The animal must be in good health.  Animals to be housed in University Housing must have a clean bill of health from a licensed veterinarian. 

Leash - The animal must be on a leash at all times. 

Clean-up Rule -

1). Always carry equipment sufficient to clean up the animal’s feces.

2). Properly dispose of feces. 

*Individuals with disabilities who physically cannot clean up after their own service animals may not be required to pick up and dispose of feces.  However, whenever possible please ask a person nearby to assist you.

Under Control of Partner/Handler - The partner/handler must be in full control of the animal at all times.  The care and supervision of a service animal is solely the responsibility of its partner/handler.

When a Service Animal can be asked to Leave

Disruption - The partner of an animal that is unruly or disruptive (e.g., barking, running around, bringing attention to itself) may be asked to remove the animal from university facilities.  If the improper behavior happens repeatedly, the partner may be told no to bring the animal into any university facility until the partner takes significant steps to mitigate the behavior.  Mitigation can include refresher training for both the animal and the partner.  

* Complaints about animal disruptions should contact University Police at 406-994-2121

Health - Service animals that are ill should not be taken into public areas.  A partner with an ill animal may be asked to leave university facilities. 

Emergency Situations

In the event of an emergency, respondents should be trained or notified that a service animal is in residence and be aware that the animal may be trying to communicate the need for help.  The animal may become disoriented from the smell or smoke in a fire or laboratory emergency, from sirens or wind noise, of from shaking and moving ground.  The partner and/or animal may be confused from the stressful situation.  The respondents should be aware that the animal is trying to be protective and, in its confusion, is not to be considered harmful.  The respondents should make every effort to keep the animal with its partner.  However, the first priority is to the partner; this may necessitate leaving an animal behind in certain emergency evacuation situations. 

*Emergency procedures for people with disabilities can be found in MSU Emergency Procedures Manual. 

Grievances

Any partner dissatisfied with a decision made concerning a service animal should follow MSU’s published grievance procedures.

Service Animal Protocol

Service animals are animals trained to assist people with disabilities in the activities of daily living.  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) definition of a service animal is: “…any…animal individually trained to do work and perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals who are hearing impaired to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair or fetching dropped items.”  If an animal meet this definition, it is considered a service animal regardless of whether it has been licensed or certified by a state or local government training program.  This policy differentiates “service animals” from “pets,” denotes campus locations that could be off-limits to service animals, and sets behavioral guidelines for service animals.

Read MSU's Service Animal Policy

 

 

Resources:

Disability Services

174 Strand Union Building

406-994-2824

 

Office of Institutional Equity

118 Hamilton Hall

406-994-2042

University Police

7th Ave. & Kagy Blvd.

406-994-2121

 

(Adapted from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Last revised: March 2017)