Disability Services Service Animal Campus Policy
A “service animal” is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the person’s disability, although this impairment may not be easily recognizable. If a dog meets this definition, it is considered a service animal regardless of whether it has been licensed or certified by a state or local government or a training program.
Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals.
Students with disabilities may be accompanied by their service dogs on Westmont premises where members of the public or participants in services, programs or activities are allowed to go, including campus housing, classrooms, Chapel, Library and the DC.
Federal law does not require the individual to provide documentation that an animal has been trained as a service animal. Members of the College community may, however, ask two questions:
- Is the animal required because of a disability?
- What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
Important note: Such inquiries will be made only when there is credible, objective evidence reflecting that the animal is not performing as a service animal for the individual, including evidence that the animal is out of control. Members of the College community will not ask either of these two questions when it is observable and obvious what work or task the animal is performing for the individual with a disability.
Currently registered Westmont students with service dogs, who are residing in campus housing, are required to register with the Office of Disability Services and to provide health information about their service dog. Other individuals accompanied by a service animal on campus are not required to submit a request for reasonable accommodation to receive access to their service animal and are not required to register with the Office of Disability Services.
Guidelines for Members of the Westmont Community
To ensure equal access and nondiscrimination of our community members with disabilities, members of the Westmont community must abide by the following practices:
- Allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities on campus;
- Do not ask for details about a person’s disabilities;
- Do not ask the individual to show a license, certification, or ID as proof of training;
- Do not ask the individual to describe the manner in which the animal was trained;
- Do not demand that the individual demonstrate handling, training, and/or care of the service animal.
- Do not pet a service animal, as it distracts the animal from its work;
- Do not feed a service animal;
- Do not deliberately startle, tease, or taunt a service animal;
- Do not separate or attempt to separate a person from their service animal.
If a member of the Westmont College community has a disability that may be affected by the presence of animals, please contact the Office of Disability Services. Westmont is committed to ensuring that the needs of all people with disabilities are met and will determine how to resolve any conflicts or problems as expeditiously as possible.
The College is not responsible for the care or supervision of a service dog. Individuals are responsible for:
- The well-being of a service dog as well as the cost of any damages as a result of the service dog;
- The immediate clean-up and proper disposal of all animal waste;
- The control of the animal at all times. Reasonable behavior is expected fro service dogs. If a service dog, for example, exhibits unacceptable behavior, the individual is expected to employ the proper training techniques to correct the situation;
- Harnessing, leashing, or tethering the service dog, unless an individual’s disability precludes the use of a restraint or if the restraint would interfere with the service animal’s safe, effective performance of work or tasks;
- Following all requirements for the presence of animals in public places mandated by State or local ordinances (vaccination, licensure, animal health, leash).
Under California law, it is a misdemeanor to knowingly and fraudulently represent oneself as the owner or trainer of a dog licensed as a guide, signal or service dog.
Exceptions and Exclusions
Exclusions of service dogs are determined on an individualized basis and when one of the following conditions exists:
- The service dog is disruptive and not effectively controlled;
- The presence of the service dog would fundamentally change the nature of the job, service, or activity;
- The service dog’s presence, behavior, or actions pose an unreasonable or direct threat to property and/or the health or safety of others;
- The service dog is not housebroken.
If you need answers to questions, you may contact:
Office of Disability Services . firstname.lastname@example.org . 805-565-6135 . Voskuyl Library 310A, 311
If you need immediate assistance, you may contact Campus Safety at 805-565-6222.