Service and Support Animals on Campus

Purpose of Policy

Consistent with federal and state law, Westmont College permits assistance animals on its campus pursuant to the following policy and procedures.

Scope of Policy

This policy applies to students.

Definitions

Accommodation:  Any modification or adjustment in policies, practices, procedures or work/school/housing environment to enable an individual with a disability to enjoy equal access to college programming, activities and services.

Assistance Animal: Assistance animal is the umbrella term which includes both service and support animals as defined below.

Individual with a Disability:  An individual with a disability means a person who has a physical or mental impairment, that impairs one or more major life activity who has a record of having such impairment or is regarded as having such impairment.

Service Animal: Service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including but not limited to physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disabilities.

Support Animal:  Support animal means an animal that individuals with disabilities use for emotional support, well-being or comfort.  A support animal need not be trained to perform any specific task.

User: Individual with a disability that uses a service or support animal.

 Using A Service Animal on Campus

Nonresidential Facilities.
Students with disabilities who use service animals in nonresidential facilities and areas only are encouraged but not required to contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS).

In College Housing. Service animals may not reside in college housing without prior notification and submitting a Notice of Intent to Use Service Animal In Residence.  Students who require the use of a service animal in college housing (including Ocean View) must abide by the following procedures:

Incoming Students: Incoming students must submit a Notice of Intent to Use a Service Animal in Residence with ODS, in addition to filing their initial housing application with the Housing Office.

Current Students:  Current students must submit a Notice of Intent to Use a Service Animal In Residence no later than four (4) weeks prior to the student’s scheduled move-in date.

Students newly prescribed a service animal after the start of a semester, that intend to use the service animal in college housing should notify ODS immediately.

The Notice of Intent to Use a Service Animal In Residence can be found here on the ODS website.

Request for Support Animals on Campus

As indicated in the definitions section of this policy, support animals are not trained to perform a specific task.  Therefore, they do not qualify as service animals.  Westmont permits support animals on a case-by-case basis. Students seeking to have an emotional support anima or service animall on campus must request this accommodation by completing the Request to use Service/Support Animal.

Incoming Students: Incoming students must submit a request to use their support animal with ODS, in addition to filing their initial housing application with the Housing Office.

Current Students:  Current students must submit a request to use their support animal no later than four (4) weeks prior to the student’s scheduled move-in date.  

Students who wish to bring a support animal to campus after the semester begins should submit a request to the ODS as soon as possible, and may not bring a support animal to campus until such time that their request is approved by ODS.

All students, current and incoming, requesting the accommodation of use of a support animal on campus must complete the ODS Student Intake form.

Decision on Support Animal Requests

Decisions on requests to use support animals on campus will be made within ten (10) business days of the ODS’s receipt of a complete request.  Incomplete requests will be returned to the student without review.  For information on what constitutes a complete request to use a support animal, see the request form here or obtain a form from the ODS.  

Responsibilities of Service and Support Animal User

All service and support animal users are responsible for any damage caused by their animals and must take appropriate precautions to prevent property damage or injury.  The care, supervision and well-being of a service/support animal are the sole responsibility of the User at all times.  For a full list of responsibilities, see the Agreement for Service or Support Animal in College Housing here.

Complaint Process

Residents will have the opportunity to report complaints and concerns in regard to noise, odor, pests, threat, or danger.   Unacceptable behavior from a support or service animal may be reported as follows:

  • Behaviors in residential facilities should be reported to the Resident Director or to the On Call Resident Director.
  • Behaviors in non-residential campus facilities should be reported to Public Safety.
  • In all emergencies, in any setting, contact 911.

The complaint will be forwarded to and reviewed by the Associate Dean for Residence (or designee).  Within 5 business days of the receipt of the complaint, the Associate Dean for Residence Life (in consultation with the Director of Disability services) will respond to the complaint in writing and may issue any one or more of the following sanctions:

  • Requiring specific reasonable action on the part of the User to rectify a problem
  • Suspension of use of service or support animal for one or more semesters

Removal/Relocation of Service or Support Animal

An animal may be removed from any campus facility for unruly and/or disruptive behaviors including but not limited to:

  • Excessive barking
  • Repeated lack of supervision
  • Aggressive Behavior
  • Repeated soiling in residence or not housebroken
  • Improper grooming or hygiene (foul odors, fleas, excessive shedding, etc.)

If suspension of pet owning privileges is implemented, the pet owner will be given up to 14 days to alternately place the animal.

When a service animal is properly excluded from the premises for any of the reasons above or other appropriate reason, users will be offered the opportunity to participate in the service program or activity without the service animal.

Grievances

Students may appeal decisions made pursuant to this policy under the ODS Grievance Procedure found here.