Service Animal Policies
SERVICE ANIMAL PROCEDURE
The Americans with Disabilities Act Sec. 36.302 © (1) requires that a public accommodation modify its policies, practices and procedures to permit the use of a service animal by an individual with a disability in any area open to the general public. In compliance with the ADA, NY state law, and the SUNY Chancellor's office, Clinton Community College recognizes that service/assistance animals can play an important role in facilitating the independence of some individuals with certain types of disabilities. Therefore, an appropriately trained animal, under the control of its partner/handler, may be allowed in campus facilities where animals would typically not be permitted.
The health and safety of CCC students, faculty, staff, and the service animal is an important concern; therefore, only service animals that meet the criteria described below will be exempt from the rules that otherwise restrict or prohibit animals.
Definitions (Americans with Disabilities Ad, Sec. 36.1(4)
Service animal - any dog* individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding, alerting, pulling a wheelchair, fetching, opening doors is classified as a service animal under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:
Guide dog - is a carefully trained dog that serves as a travel tool by persons with severe visual impairments or who are blind.
Hearing/Signal dog - has been trained to alert a person with significant hearing loss or who is deaf when a particular sound occurs.
Ssig.dog - is trained to assist a person with autism. The animal alerts the partner to distracting, repetitive movements and may provide support similar to that provided by a dog for a person who is vision or hearing
Seizure response dog - is trained to assist a person with a seizure disorder. The dog may stand guard over the person during a seizure or may go for help. Some have learned to predict a seizure and warn the person in advance.
Companion/Therapy animal – The Americans with Disabilities Act and the U.S. Department of Justice have established two training requirements for an animal to be considered a service animal. The first is that a service animal must be individually trained to perform tasks or work for the benefit of a disabled individual. The second is that a service animal must be trained to be trained to behave properly in places of public accommodation. Most animals, including those labeled Companion/Therapy Animals, do not meet the criteria established by the ADA and do not qualify for the same legal protection.
* under particular circumstances, a miniature horse may qualify as a service animal.
Students must provide appropriate documentation of their disability that clearly and explicitly explains the need for a service animal and its specific functions to the Accommodative Services Office. Two weeks advance notice is recommended in order make appropriate plans to meet student/animal needs. Additionally, students requiring a service animal who plan to reside in the Residence Halls must submit a Request of an Exception to the Residential Pet policy for a Service Animal and comply with the Residence hall Service Animal Policy.
Faculty should provide their documentation to the Human Resources office.
Visitors need not submit documentation, but must follow campus service animal policy. Visitors should report to the switchboard operator who will provide them with a copy of the policy.
Animals All animals must meet license requirements of the town of the animal’s residence.
Health – The animal must be clean and in good health.
Training – Verification that the animal meets minimum training standards.
Identification – The animal must wear some type of easily recognized identification symbol (i.e., harness, backpack).
- to provide care, feeding, and supervision of their animal
- to provide appropriate documentation in a timely fashion to designated college officers
- to maintain control of the animal at all times. The animal should be as unobtrusive as possible.
- to assume responsibility for any damages caused by the animal
- if physically able, to clean up animal waste and properly dispose of it. Students unable to do this should use a designated toileting area. This area will be determined based upon the location of the student's classes. The Buildings and Grounds crew will assume the responsibility for cleanup.
There are certain areas that may be considered unsafe for the animal and its partner, or where the presence of animal might interfere with the safety of others (i.e., labs, machine rooms, kitchen-areas where protective clothing is necessary. Exceptions would have to be made on a case-by-case basis. If it is determined that an area is unsafe, reasonable accommodations will be provided to assure equal access to the student.
Every effort should be made to keep the animal with its partner. Responders should be trained to recognize a service animal and to be aware that an animal may be trying to communicate a need for assistance. Responders should also be aware that a service animal might be very protective of their partner. Also the animal may be confused or agitated by the emergency. It is best, if possible, to try to direct the partner in a manner that does not interfere with the animal/partner team. The partner, of course, is the priority. If the partner is incapacitated, wait, if possible, for campus security of members of an Emergency Response Team trained to deal with this type of situation.
Exclusion from Campus
A service animal may be banned from campus for the following reasons:
- Disruptive behavior – including, but not limited to, barking, whining, growling, wandering, sniffing (people, tables in eating area, other’s belongings) initiation contact with someone without partner’s permission.
- Hygiene – dirty, strong odor, not groomed, evidence of having fleas, ticks, etc.
- Obstruction of aisles, passageways
- Aggressive behavior
Students and campus personnel should not:
- prevent a service animal from accompanying its partner at all time and everywhere on campus except where specifically prohibited.
- pet, feed, or otherwise distract a service animal
- startle, tease, or taunt the animal
- attempt to separate the animal from its partner
Persons with conflicting disabilities (i.e., asthma, allergies) should contact the Accommodative Services office and provide verifiable medical documentation to support their claim. Resolution of the complaint will take into consideration the needs of both parties and be as expeditious as possible.
Appeals should be submitted to the Vice-President for Student Services. The VPSS will form an ad hoc committee to discuss and resolve the issue. The ad hoc committee will be comprised of the Director of Accommodative Services and other necessary personnel.
* Special thanks to Mohawk Valley Community College for the assistance it provided in developing this policy.