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Kalamazoo College
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Pets, Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals

Kalamazoo College Policy on Pets, Service Animals, and Emotional Support Animals for Students

With the exception of approved Service or Emotional Support Animals (ESA) for students with disabilities, animals, including pets (with the exception of fish in up to a 10-gallon tank), are not permitted in Kalamazoo College student housing.

Kalamazoo College is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified students with disabilities. Students with disabilities who require the use of a Service Animal or ESA as a reasonable accommodation may be permitted to bring such animals on campus provided that they comply with the College’s policies regarding such animals. Students who seek to bring a Service Animal or ESA to campus must first contact Associate Dean of Students, Karen Joshua-Wathel (269-337-7209), who coordinates disability accommodations for Kalamazoo College. Dean Joshua-Wathel will determine, on a case-by-case basis, approval of student’s request for a Service Animal or Emotional Support Animal. When necessary and appropriate to the determination, she will collaborate with other offices on campus, and may share information related to the student’s request on a confidential, need-to-know basis. In making this determination, the Associate Dean will consider the needs of the student as well as the impact of the animal on the campus community and any other relevant information. Depending on the nature of the disability, students seeking to have a Service Animal or Emotional Support Animal in residential housing may need to submit a request for review each academic year or at other times. The approval of a request is animal-specific, and is not transferable to another animal.

A request for a Service Animal or an ESA should be submitted at the same time housing selection begins for housing, if the need is known at that time. The animal must not be in residence prior to approval by the Associate Dean. Students and their roommates who have an unapproved animal in their residence are subject to referral to the Student Conduct system. Regular follow up visits will be made to ensure that the animal has been removed.

Section I. Definitions

Service Animal

A "Service Animal" is any dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. In some cases, a miniature horse may be permitted as a Service Animal. Other animals do not qualify as Service Animals. Examples of work or tasks provided by a Service Animal include, among others, guiding a person with impaired vision, alerting a person with a hearing impairment, pulling a wheelchair, and alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure. Service Animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a Service Animal has been trained to provide must be directly related to the functional limitations of the person’s disability. Animals who have not been trained to perform a specific job or task and whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as Service Animals.

Emotional Support Animal

“Emotional Support Animals” are animals that are necessary for a person with a disability to have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling and there is an identifiable relationship or causal connection between the disability and the assistance the animal provides. Some, but not all, animals that assist persons with disabilities are professionally trained. Other ESAs are trained by their owners. Unlike a Service Animal, an Emotional Support Animal does not assist a person with a disability with activities of daily living, nor does it accompany a person with a disability at all times. ESAs may be considered for access to college housing, however they are not permitted in other areas of the college (e.g. library, academic buildings, classrooms, labs dining center, labs, student center, etc.).

Pet

A “pet” is an animal kept for ordinary use and companionship. A pet is not considered a Service or an Emotional Support Animal. Students are not permitted to keep or bring pets on college property or in housing, with the exception of fish in up to a 10 gallon fish tank.

Approved Animal

An “Approved Animal” is a Service Animal or an Emotional Support Animal that has been permitted in Kalamazoo College’s housing as a reasonable accommodation under this policy.

Owner

The  “Owner”  is  the  resident  student  who  has  been  permitted  to  keep  an  Approved  Animal  in housing under this policy.

Section II. Service Animals

A resident student seeking to keep a Service Animal in housing must make a request to the Associate Dean of Students. To do so, the resident student must submit a completed Housing Accommodation Request Form, a Disability Information and Verification form, and appropriate documentation from a medical provider. If the need for the Service Animal arises after the student is already placed in housing, then the student must provide the required request form and disability documentation to the Associate Dean of Students at least 30 days prior to the date the student would like to bring the animal to campus housing.

When the need for a Service Animal is not readily apparent or known, the College may request additional documentation in support of the request for the purpose of verifying the student’s disability, and determining whether an animal qualifies as a service animal, namely: (i) that the Service Animal is required due to the functional limitations of the requesting student’s disability, (ii) what work or tasks the Service Animal has been trained to perform for the benefit of the requesting student, (iii) whether the Service Animal in question would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others that cannot be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation, and (iv) whether the Service Animal in question would cause substantial physical damage to the property of others that cannot be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation. Depending on the nature of the disability, any necessary documentation should be dated within the last 12 months.

After receiving completed documentation, the Associate Dean will arrange a meeting with the requesting student. This policy will be reviewed with the resident student at that time.

When necessary and appropriate, the Associate Dean will collaborate with other college offices, including the Dean of Students, to determine if there are any issues that may negatively impact the requesting student’s ability to effectively control and provide a safe environment for the Service Animal. Once the Associate Dean completes the review, the decision will be provided in writing to the student.

The requesting student may appeal a denial of a request for a Service Animal within five academic days to the Accommodation Appeal Committee using the Accommodation Appeal Form. The decision of the Accommodation Appeal Committee is final.

If the request for a Service Animal is approved, the requesting student will be asked to sign a Handler Agreement that includes the provisions of this policy.

If the request for a Service Animal is approved, Residential Life staff will make a reasonable effort to notify the other residents in the community where the Service Animal will be located. This notice will be limited to information about the animal’s presence; there will be no disclosure of the student’s disability. Other resident students with medical condition(s) who are directly and negatively impacted by animals (e.g., respiratory diseases, asthma, severe allergies) are asked to contact the Associate Dean of Students, Karen Joshua-Wathel, who coordinates disability accommodations, if they have a health or safety related concern about exposure to a Service Animal. Such affected students may be eligible for a disability accommodation when living in proximity to a Service Animal.

The Associate Dean and Residential Life staff will collaborate, as necessary, to resolve conflicts related to a Service Animal. Staff members will consider the needs and accommodations of all resident students involved.

All roommates of the Owner must agree that the Service Animal will be in residence with them. In the event that one or more roommates do not approve, either the Owner and the Service Animal or the non-approving roommate(s), as determined by the Residential Life staff, may be moved to a different location.

The behavior, noise, odor, and waste of a Service Animal must not exceed reasonable standards and these factors must not create an unreasonable disruption for residents and Residential Life staff.

Dangerous animals are not permitted.

The following pertains to the health and well-being of a Service Animal:

  • Vaccination: Service animals must comply with local ordinances and regulations relating to vaccinations, immunizations, and licensing requirements. In accordance with local ordinances and regulations, the Service Animal must receive all required immunizations against diseases. Dogs must have current vaccination against rabies and wear a rabies vaccination tag. Local licensing requirements must be followed. The College may request updated verification regarding a Service Animal’s vaccinations at any time during the animal’s residency.
  • Health: Service Animals must not pose a health risk to others and should be in good health as documented annually by a licensed veterinarian. Appropriate documentation will be determined on a case-by-case basis, but may include a vaccination certificate or veterinarian’s statement regarding the animal’s health. The College may request that the Service Animal receive veterinary attention in appropriate circumstances.
  • Training: Service Animals must be individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of the individual with a disability
  • Control: The Owner or handler must be in full control of the Service Animal at all times. The Service Animal must generally be on a leash, harness, or other tether unless the Owner’s disability prevents its use, or the use of one would interfere with the Service Animal's ability to be of service.
  • Cleanliness: It is the Owner’s responsibility to remove and properly dispose of any waste. A Service Animal should be clean and well groomed, and measures should be taken at all times for flea and odor control. If fleas, ticks, or other pests are detected through inspection, the impacted housing will be treated using approved fumigation methods by College’s approved pest control service. The Owner may be billed for the expense of any pest treatment above and beyond normal required pest management. The Owner will be held responsible for any room damages or replacement of furniture, just as all residents are responsible for damages to property. If problems with cleanliness persist, the animal will need to be removed from campus.
  • Other Conditions: the Associate Dean and/or Residential Life staff may place other reasonable conditions or restrictions on the Service Animal depending on the particular facts and circumstances, including the nature and characteristics of the Service Animal.

Section III. Emotional Support Animals (ESA)

Under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) a person with a disability may keep an emotional support animal in the individual’s dwelling when there is an established need for the therapeutic nature of the animal that is connected to the individual’s disability. An Emotional Support Animal provides emotional support to persons with disabilities who have a disability related need for such support that allows them the equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling and there is an identifiable relationship or causal connection between the disability and the assistance the animal provides. If the disability or need for an ESA is not readily apparent or known, the College may require documentation from relevant healthcare professionals.

A resident student seeking to keep an Emotional Support Animal in housing must make a formal request to Associate Dean of Students, Karen Joshua-Wathel who coordinates disability accommodates for the College. To do so, the resident student must submit a completed Housing Accommodation Request Form, a Disability Information and Verification form, and appropriate documentation from a medical provider by the deadline established for medical requests along with the application for housing prior to the fall housing process. If the need for the Emotional Support Animal arises after the student is already placed in housing then the student must provide the required request form and disability documentation to the Associate Dean at least 30 days prior to the date the student would like to bring the animal to housing.

When the need for an Emotional Assistance Animal is not readily apparent or known, the College may request additional clarification and medical documentation from a physician, psychiatrist, social worker, or other mental health professional, including (i) verification of the student’s disability, (ii) statement on how the animal alleviates the symptoms of the disability or effects the disability, (iii) statement on how the need for the assistance animal relates to the ability of the student to use and gain benefit from College housing;  (iv)  statement on whether the animal in question would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others that cannot be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation, and (v) statement on whether the animal in question would cause substantial physical damage to the property of others that cannot be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation . Depending on the nature of the disability any necessary documentation should be dated within the last 12 months.

After receiving completed documentation, the Associate Dean will arrange a meeting with the requesting student. This policy will be reviewed with the resident student at that time.

When necessary and appropriate, the Associate Dean will collaborate with other college offices, including the Dean of Students, to determine if there are any issues that may negatively impact the requesting student’s ability to effectively control and provide a safe environment for the Emotional Support Animal. Once the Associate Dean completes the review, the decision will be provided in writing to the student.

The requesting student may appeal a denial of a request for an Emotional Support Animal within five academic days to the Accommodation Appeal Committee using the Accommodation Appeal Form. The decision of the Accommodation Appeal Committee is final.

If the Emotional Support Animal is approved, the requesting student will be asked to sign a Handler Agreement that includes the provisions of this policy.

If the request for an Emotional Support Animal is approved, the Residence Life staff will make a reasonable effort to notify the other residents in the community where the Emotional Support Animal will be located. This notice will be limited to information about the animal’s presence; there will be no disclosure of the student’s disability. Other resident students with medical condition(s) who are directly and negatively impacted by animals (e.g., respiratory diseases, asthma, severe allergies) are asked to contact the Associate Dean of Students, Karen Joshua-Wathel, who coordinates disability accommodations, if they have a health or safety related concern about exposure to an Emotional Support Animal. Such affected students may be eligible for a disability accommodation when living in proximity to an Emotional Support Animal.

The Associate Dean and Residential Life staff will collaborate, as necessary, to resolve conflicts related to an Emotional Support Animal. Staff members will consider the needs and/or accommodations of all resident students involved.

All roommates or suitemates of the Owner must acknowledge that the Emotional Support Animal will be in residence with them in writing. In the event that one or more roommates or suitemates do not approve, either the Owner or the Emotional Support Animal or the non-approving roommates or suitemates, as determined by the Residence Life staff, may be moved to a different location.

The Owner must comply with the following provisions regarding behavior and care of an Emotional Support Animal:

  1. The behavior, noise, odor, and waste of an Emotional Support Animal must not exceed reasonable standards and these factors must not create an unreasonable disruption for residents and Residential Life staff.
  2. Dangerous, poisonous, and illegal animals are not permitted.
  3. The Emotional Support Animal must be contained within the Student Handler room at all times, except as required for transportation off-campus or to eliminate waste. While outside the Owner’s housing, the animal must be in an animal carrier or controlled by leash or harness unless the Owner’s disability prevents its use or would interfere with the animal’s safe and effective performance of its work or tasks.
  4. Emotional Support Animals are only permitted in the Owner’s room in housing.
  5. Emotional Support Animals are not permitted in other Kalamazoo College facilities, including dining areas, classrooms, labs, student center, library, and other common areas.

The following pertains to the health and well-being of an Emotional Support Animal:

  • Vaccination: Emotional Support Animals must comply with local ordinances and regulations relating to vaccinations, immunizations, and licensing requirements. In accordance with local ordinances and regulations, the Emotional Support Animal must receive all required immunizations against diseases. Dogs must have current vaccination against rabies and wear a rabies vaccination tag. Cats should have the normal shots required for a healthy animal. Local licensing requirements must be followed. The College may request updated verification regarding an Emotional Support Animal’s vaccinations at any time during the animal’s residency.
  • Health: Emotional support Animals must not pose a health risk to others and should be in good health as documented annually by a licensed veterinarian. Appropriate documentation will be determined on a case-by-case basis, but may include a vaccination certificate or veterinarian’s statement regarding the animal’s health. The College has may request that the Emotional Support Animal receive veterinary attention in appropriate circumstances.
  • Control: The Owner must be in full control of the Emotional Support Animal at all times. The Emotional Support Animal must generally be on a leash, harness, or other tether (or in an appropriate cage,) while in housing, unless the Owner’s disability prevents its use, or the use of one would interfere with the Emotional Support Animal’s ability to be of service. The college will make such determinations on a case-by-case basis and notify the Owner about leash or cage requirements.
  • Cleanliness: It is the Owner’s responsibility to remove and properly dispose of any waste. An Emotional Support Animal should be clean and well groomed, and measures should be taken at all times for flea and odor control. If fleas, ticks, or other pests are detected through inspection, the residence hall will be treated using approved fumigation methods by Kalamazoo College’s approved pest control service. The Owner will be billed for the expense of any pest treatment above and beyond normal required pest management. The Owner will be held responsible for any room damages including the excessive cleaning or replacement of furniture, just as any other resident is responsible for damage to property. If problems with cleanliness persist, the animal will need to be removed from campus.
  • Other Conditions: The Associate Dean and/or Residential Life may place other reasonable conditions or restrictions on the Emotional Support Animal depending on the particular facts and circumstances, including the nature and characteristics of the Emotional Support Animal.

Section IV.  Owner’s Responsibilities for Approved Animals in Housing 

The Owner is responsible for assuring that the Approved Animal does not unduly interfere or adversely affect the routine activities of other residents and neighbors. In addition, the Approved Animal must not pose a threat to the health, safety, or property of anyone in the community. If the College determines that the Approved Animal threatens the health, safety, or property of anyone in the community, or that the Approved Animal is adversely affecting Kalamazoo College programs and activities, the college will take appropriate measures, up to and including a determination that the Approved Animal may no longer be permitted on campus.

The care and supervision of the Approved Animal is solely the responsibility of the Owner. The Owner is responsible for ensuring the safety of the Approved Animals and the community. The Owner is responsible for ensuring the cleanup of the Approved Animal’s waste (e.g. urine, excrement, fur, cage shavings, etc.) in an outdoor dumpster. Animals, their crates, litter boxes and other related materials may not be cleaned in the common bathrooms. Indoor animal waste must be placed in a sturdy plastic bag before disposal in an outdoor dumpster regularly.

A paw print decal will be affixed outside the Owner's unit as a notification to the Facilities Staff that an animal resides in the unit. The Owner or a roommate needs to be present during any scheduled maintenance visit.

The Owner is financially responsible for the Approved Animal, including for any bodily injury or property damage caused by the Approved Animal. The Owner’s financial responsibility may include replacement of furniture, window, wall covering, and costs of damage to other College owned property, just as any other resident would be responsible for damage. The Owner is expected to cover these costs at the time of repair or move-out.

The Owner is responsible for any expenses incurred for required cleaning above and beyond a standard cleaning or for repairs to College premises, just as any other resident would be responsible. Any such damages will be assessed after the Owner and Approved Animal vacate housing. The College shall bill the student account for unmet obligations.

The Owner must notify the Associate Dean and the Office of Residential Life in writing if the Approved Animal is no longer needed or is no longer in residence. To replace an Approved Animal, the Owner must file a new Housing Accommodation Request Form under Section II or Section III of this policy, as appropriate.

The Owner's residence may be inspected for pests as needed. Residential Life staff will schedule any such inspection. If pests are detected upon inspection, the residence room or hall will be treated using fumigation or other methods by a College-approved pest control service. The Owner will be billed for the expense of any pest treatment above and beyond routine pest management in the residence halls.

From time to time, the college may use pesticides, pest control devices, de-icing materials, cleaning supplies, and other materials for the maintenance and operation of housing. The College is not responsible for any harm to Approved Animals caused by such materials.

The Owner must take the animal with them when leaving campus for a prolonged period of time, and may not leave the Approved Animal in the care of any other resident overnight. Approved Animals may not be left overnight in housing without notification to and approval by Residential Life.

Residential Life may relocate the Owner and Approved Animal as necessary according to Kalamazoo College’s Housing Contract.

The Owner agrees to continue to abide by all other college policies, including housing policies. Any violation of this policy may result in immediate removal of the Approved Animal from the college. Reported violations may be reviewed by the Dean of Students Office in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.

Should the Approved Animal be removed from the premises for any reason, the Owner is expected to fulfill his/her housing obligations for the remainder of Kalamazoo College Housing Contract term.

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