The University recognizes the importance of assistive animals, including service and emotional support animals, in providing necessary support to individuals with disabilities. Assistive animals may make participation in University programs and activities more accessible for students with disabilities and enrich the entire educational community. The University supports the use of assistive animals in University buildings, grounds, and facilities, consistent with these guidelines, University policies, and state and federal law.  


What is a Service Animal?  

A service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks directly related to an individual’s disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.  These tasks may include guiding an individual with a vision impairment, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items, among other tasks. If the animal meets this definition, then it is considered a service animal regardless of whether it has been certified or licensed as a service animal by a training program or state or local government.  Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals. Service-animals-in-training are provided the same access to University buildings and facilities as trained service animals.  All service animals and service-animals-in-training must meet the requirements and expectations identified herein.  

Service Animals in the Classroom and University Buildings and Facilities 

Service animals, including service-animals-in-training, may accompany an individual with a disability or an individual training the animal in public facilities and accommodations, or in places in which the general public is invited (e.g., academic buildings, administrative offices, residence halls, etc.) as long as the animal and owner meet the requirements identified in the Responsibilities of Individuals with Animals on Campus section below.   

Service animals may be restricted from specific areas of the University when:

  1. It would fundamentally alter a program or activity;
  2. The University has legitimate safety concerns;
  3. Consistent with other University policies or state and federal law. 

Examples of these areas include, but are not limited to food preparation areas, biologically sensitive or hazardous locations, and certain research facilities or laboratories.  If a service animal is restricted from an area that a student needs to access the Office of Disability Services will work with the student to identify and provide a reasonable accommodation to the student. 

Service Animals in University Student Housing  

Students planning to live in University Student Housing with a service animal must register with the Office of Disability Services and make this known on their housing application so that appropriate accommodations can be provided. All assistive animals in University Student Housing are required to comply with the requirements in Responsibilities of Individuals with Animals on Campus section below, as well as University Student Housing requirements and guidelines.  

Registration and Documentation for Service Animals 

Students with service animals are not required to register with the Office of Disability Services, or provide supporting medical documentation, prior to bringing the animal on campus.  However, it is strongly recommended that students who need the assistance of a service animal in the classroom register with the Office of Disability Services.  By doing so, students will be able to: 1) access additional resources and services available to students with disabilities; 2) document their need for any classroom accommodations; and 3) request additional reasonable accommodations related to the presence of the service animal in certain classroom settings (e.g., such as a chemistry lab). Registering a service animal with the Office of Disability Services may also assist the University if any problems arise that the owner needs assistance with or if an emergency occurs. 

Although recommended, service animals are not required to wear a vest, ID tag, specific harness, or other identification indicating they are a service animal.  Additionally, students are not required to provide documentation to prove that the animal has been certified as a service animal. 


Emotional support animals are animals prescribed by a physician or licensed mental health provider to provide therapeutic benefit to individuals with disabilities by alleviating one or more symptoms of a disability.  Emotional support animals often help with depression, anxiety, and certain phobias, among other disabilities, but do not have specialized training to perform tasks that assist an individual with disabilities. Unlike service animals, emotional support animals are not limited to dogs and there are greater restrictions surrounding the presence of emotional support animals on campus.  

Where Are ESAs permitted? 

Emotional support animals are only permitted in student rooms in University Student Housing with an approved accommodation from the Office of Disability Services.  Emotional support animals are generally not permitted in common areas of University Student Housing, classrooms, or other University buildings.  All assistive animals in University Student Housing are required to comply with the requirements in the Responsibilities of Individuals with Animals on Campus section below, as well as University Student Housing requirements and guidelines. 

Registration and Documentation for ESAs 

Students requesting to have an emotional support animal in University Student Housing must register with the Office of Disability Services and provide supporting documentation from a physician or licensed mental health provider.  The documentation must: 1) provide a diagnosis of a disability; 2) state how the animal will serve as an accommodation for the diagnosed disability; and 3) state how the need for the animal relates to the ability for the student to use and enjoy University Student Housing. 


All students in University Student Housing that have an assistive animal (service animal or emotional support animal) must follow University Student Housing requirements regarding assistive animals.  This includes:  

  • Meeting with USH Staff after ODS Approval is received (where applicable) 
  • Signing a USH Assistive Animal Agreement  
  • Photograph of the assistive animal  
  • Current Vaccination Records (where applicable)  
  • City of Bozeman License (where applicable)  
  • Proof of a local veterinarian (30 mile radius)  
  • Proof the animal is being treated for fleas and ticks (where applicable)  


Owners of animals on campus are responsible for their animals at all times.  This responsibility includes complying with all state laws and local animal ordinances, as well as all University and University Student Housing and Dining policies and guidelines.  Owners are also responsible for the following:  

  • Maintaining control over the animal at all times;  
  • Animal must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered when in public unless it interferes with the animal’s ability to perform its trained task, or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices;  
  • Providing animals with appropriate care, including food, water, shelter, healthcare, and humane treatment;  
  • Animal may not be left for prolonged periods of time – student is solely responsible for caring for the animal including during any breaks, and may not leave animals in University Student Housing during times when University Student Housing is closed; 
  • Cleaning up and disposing of all animal waste (both indoors and outdoors) in a timely and appropriate manner;  
  • Not allowing odor, noise, damage, or other behavior of animals that disturbs others or damages University grounds, facilities or property;  
  • All animals must be crated or otherwise appropriately contained when in University Student Housing; 
  • Animal must not be disruptive, aggressive, or pose a health or safety threat to others; and  
  • Maintaining any required vaccination and licensure requirements.  


Animals, including service and emotional support animals, may be prohibited from or required to leave a building or facility on campus if: 

  • The owner does not comply with University policies regarding the presence of animals on campus, including the Responsibilities of Individuals with Animals on Campus in the Responsibilities of Individuals with Animals on Campus sectionabove; 
  • The animal’s behavior or presence poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, including other animals on campus;  
  • The animal substantially interferes with the reasonable use of University buildings or facilities by others; 
  • The University determines that an emotional support animal accommodation is no longer reasonable under the circumstances; or 
  • Allowing the animal on the premises would require a fundamental alteration to the nature of the University’s programs, services, or activities. 

Where appropriate, the University will provide students with notification of any concerns prior to removal or exclusion of the animal from University buildings and facilities.  Once removed or excluded, the animal may not return to University property without prior approval from the Office of Disability Services. 


Questions regarding animals on University property or in University buildings or facilities should be directed to the Office of Disability Services at (406) 994-2824 or [email protected].   

Questions or concerns regarding assistive animals in University housing may be reported to University Student Housing at (406) 994-2661 or [email protected].   

Complaints or concerns regarding students with assistive animals on University property or in University buildings or facilities (other than in residence halls) should be directed to the Office of the Dean of Students at (406) 994-2826 or [email protected].   

If there are any safety concerns involving an animal, including a risk of danger to people or property, please dial 911.   

Individuals with assistive animals who feel they have been discriminated against or harassed due to a disability may contact the Office of Institutional Equity at (406) 994-1568 or [email protected]. 

Important: The request and review process must be completed prior to the animal arriving in housing. 

To Request an Assistive Animal:

  1. Log into Accommodate - you will need your NetID and password.
  2. Click Accommodation & Information Requests, then
  3. Click Accommodation Requests.

The request form must be completed by a qualified professional. They may answer on the form, or on official letterhead of the qualifying professional which needs to be uploaded directly to Accommodate.

Documents need to be in PDF or DOCX format. The following items need to be addressed thoroughly:

  1. Provide specific evidence that the disability results in a functional limitation requiring an assistance animal.
  2. Provide specific details on work and/or tasks performed by the assistance animal for the individual with a disability.

If you are having any accessibility issues with the request form, need help filling it out or if you would prefer a paper copy please contact the Office of Disability Services for assistance. 406-994-2824