Disability Services How to request a support animal
1. Read and review Support Animal policies
2. Go through check-list for ESA and follow directions
3. Documentation of Disability:The student will provide a completed medical documentation from a qualified medical professional explaining the following: a) The relationship between your disability and the assistance the support animal provides and b) How the support animal is necessary to provide you with equal access to college programs, activities and benefits by providing these two providers signed and completed forms below. Other forms of documentation will be accepted, but additional necessary information not provided may be required.
Psychological Documentation form:
Emotional Support Animal Provider Form
Please attach the following information to your intake form:
- Your written request to use a support animal, including the following information
- Date of diagnosis of your disability
- Describe symptoms alleviated by your ESA
- Date of the prescription for the support animal
- Date you acquired support animal
- Type of support animal you want to use
- Description of the animal (weight, breed, color, etc.)
- Support animal’s name
- Whether the animal is housebroken
5. College Housing Animal Agreement: download, read carefully and sign.
6. Return all completed documents to the Office of Disability Services well in advance of requested date.
7. Once documents are reviewed, consultations are conducted with Residence Life and roommate issues are evaluated, a meeting (phone meetings are acceptable) will take place with Director of Disability Services to go over paperwork and request. There will be two meetings before a support animal decision will be made. The initial meeting will be to go over paperwork and the particulars of the request and a final meeting to discuss the decision of the college. These two meetings must happen before any animal can be brought to campus. If approved, reasonable accommodations will be discussed.
Criteria for Determining if Presence of the ESA is Reasonable:
College housing is unique in several aspects including the mandatory assignment of roommates for many individuals and the mandate that individuals must share a room or suite in most college residences. To ensure that the presence of an ESA is not an undue administrative burden or fundamental alteration of college housing, Westmont College reserves the right to assign an individual with an ESA an alternative housing assignment, including a single room without a roommate.
- For all requests for an ESA, Disability Services shall consult with Residence Life in making a determination on a case-by-case basis of whether the presence of an ESA is reasonable. A request for an ESA may be denied as unreasonable if the presence of the animal: 1) imposes an undue financial and/or administrative burden; 2) fundamentally alters college housing policies; and/or 3) poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others or would cause substantial property damage to the property of others, including College property.
- Westmont College may consider the following factors, among others, as evidence in determining whether the presence of the ESA is reasonable or in the making of housing assignments for individuals with an ESA:
- The size of the ESA is too large for available assigned housing space;
- The ESA’s presence would force another individual from individual housing (e.g. serious allergies);
- The ESA’s presence otherwise violates individuals’ right to peace and quiet enjoyment;
- The ESA is not housebroken or is unable to live with others in a reasonable manner;
- The ESA’s vaccinations are not up-to-date;
- The ESA poses or has posed in the past a direct threat to the individual or others, such as aggressive behavior towards or injuring the individual or others;
- The ESA causes or has caused excessive damage to housing beyond reasonable wear and tear; or
- Dangerous, poisonous, oversized, and/or illegal animals are not permitted, as these would not be considered a reasonable accommodation in a community living environment.
Schedule a meeting with ODS. The student will schedule and participate in an appointment with ODS (after turning in supporting documents), during which the student’s request to have an ESA in college housing will be considered. The student will review the Emotional Support Animals Residential Policy with the ODS and discuss reasonable accommodations.
If ODS determines the request for an ESA accommodation is approved the owner will submit to ODS copies of appropriate vaccination documentation and current veterinary health certificate and Santa Barbara county license information.
Roommate Agreement:Where applicable, the Owner’s roommates, apartment mates or housemates will meet individually with the ODS and will review the Emotional Support Animals Residential Policy and complete the Roommate/Apartment Mate/Housemate Agreement Form.
The ODS and the Director of Residential Life will review the Owner’s request, information gathered in the interview, documentation and completed forms (and as applicable,Roommate/Apartment Mate/Housemate Agreement Form) for the ESA to determine if the request is reasonable and necessary for the Owner to use and enjoy college housing.
Approved Animal and Housing:If the ODS and the Director of Residence Life determine the requested ESA accommodation is necessary and is not unreasonable:
- The ODS will schedule a meeting with the Director of Residence Life and the student owner.The policy and agreement as well as specific information pertaining to the approved ESA will be reviewed and the Owner will be given an approved move in date.
- The Resident Director and the Resident Assistant for the living area, where the Owner/ESA will be notified of the ESA as an accommodation.
- Residence Life staff and Maintenance staff will be notified of the presence of the ESA as appropriate.
- Neighbors, where applicable in residence halls, will be notified the Owner will be living with an ESA as an accommodation.
- Should changes in housing assignment for the Owner or roommates be required, the Office of Residence Life and/or ODS will meet with the individuals and make arrangements for room assignment changes.
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.
Students may appeal decisions made pursuant to this policy under the ODS Grievance Procedure found here.