Pets are not allowed in campus housing, nor are they permitted to be taken in campus buildings or facilities. Therefore, the purpose of this information is to provide the College community with an understanding of the sanctioned use of Service Dogs and Emotional Support Animals for persons with disabilities.
A Service Animal defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act is a dog that has been trained to perform a specific disability-related task or job for a person with a disability. If the disability is not obvious, the ADA allows for two questions that may be asked to determine whether an animal qualifies as a Service Dog:
1. Is this a service animal (dog) required for you because of a disability?
2. What disability-related work or task has the animal (dog) been trained to perform?
Service Dog in Campus Housing: If a student is planning to have their previously trained Service Dog in College housing, the student should contact the Director of Student Accessibility and Disability Services at least 60 days in advance of the semester to establish that the dog meets the intent of the provisions established under Americans with Disabilities Act. Sufficient notice is needed for the Housing Office to make any appropriate arrangements regarding placement, roommates, etc., and ensure the dog meets local and state health regulations.
Please refer to General Policy for Service Dogs and Other Animals on Campus for additional guidelines regarding having a Service Dog on campus and in campus housing.
According to the Fair Housing Act, an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is not a pet but an animal that provides therapeutic emotional support to alleviate one or more identified symptoms of a person’s disability. Students who request ESAs must provide reliable documentation of their disability from a licensed healthcare provider who has personal knowledge of their impairment. Documentation must verify the student has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits at least one major life activity and a need for the animal.
An (ESA) can be an animal commonly kept in households and is not required to be trained for a disability-related task.
Please note that certificates and letters purchased for a set fee from commercial websites following brief questionnaires or interaction are not considered to be sufficient or reliable documentation of a disability.
- Students should review and submit a completed GUIDELINES AND REQUEST FOR AN EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMAL form and arrange to meet with their licensed healthcare professional (physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, physician's assistant, nurse practitioner, etc.) to discuss completing the PROFESSIONAL SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION FOR EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMAL REQUEST form.
- The Housing Office requires sufficient time, up to 60 days following notice of a student’s eligibility for an ESA, to assign an appropriate housing placement and to resolve potential competing disability-related issues within the housing community. If the accommodation request is made fewer than 60 days before the individual intends to move into college housing, BC cannot guarantee a housing assignment to meet an approved individual’s accommodation needs during the first semester of occupancy. Therefore, approved students with late requests may be required to wait until the following semester to be approved for entry to allow time for housing assignments to be adjusted.
- Incoming students should complete the request process by June 1 for the start of the Fall Semester or by October 1 for the start of the Spring Semester.
- Returning students should submit their request to continue a previously approved ESA accommodation or initiate a new housing accommodation request during the Housing Selection Process that takes place mid-spring semester for the Fall Semester.
- Although students may present a request and supporting documentation for an ESA for consideration at any time, be aware that new requests for an ESA cannot be processed between August 1-September 15 nor during Fall, Spring, or Winter Breaks.
- The Director of Student Accessibility & Disability will review the documentation and request forms. Once to be determined eligible to have an ESA, the student will receive instructions to complete a registration process for the ESA for their intended ESA prior to bringing an animal on campus. The Housing Office will review the registration and communicate final approval and placement decisions.
Please refer to BC Emotional Support Animals in College Guidelines for additional information.