Service Animal Policy

SJC complies with ADA law in allowing the use of Service Animals for students. The College fully supports its students in leading independent and engaging lives. Students who desire to bring a Service Animal into places on campus that are not open to the public such as classrooms and residence halls are required to request a Service Animal Accommodation.

Definition of a Service Animal

Service Animals are defined as trained dogs who are certified to perform a specific task for a person with disabilities.

Examples of Service Animal tasks are:

  • Morning wake-up calls for students with hearing deficits, guidance for students with visual impairments, comforting a student with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, alerting a student in advance of a seizure, reminding a student to take daily medications, among many other pertinent jobs.

Service Animal Accommodation Guidelines

The Service Animal is a working animal and not a pet, trained to provide a life-changing task that could significantly improve a person’s quality of life.

Animals whose main function is to provide security, relief, or comfort are considered Emotional Support Animals and do not qualify as Service Animals under ADA Law.

Service Animal Accommodation Process

Service Animal Accommodation requests should be submitted 30 days before arrival on campus providing ample time to facilitate the campus-wide arrangements of the Service Animal Accommodation.

  • The Student owner must provide notification to the Manager of Student Accessibility Services before the Service Animal arrives on campus.
  • The Manager of Student Accessibility Services will facilitate the Service Animal Accommodation and communicate with the necessary faculty and staff.

Notification of a Service Animal Accommodation (beyond what is available to the public) must occur on a semester-to-semester basis.

  • As with all ADA Accommodations at SJC, Service Animal Accommodations do NOT automatically renew each semester.

The specific tasks that the Service Animal performs should be clear upon review.

  • Documentation of a Service Animal is not required but may be requested.

The Student owner must show proof that the Service Animal meets all state and local licensing, registration, and vaccination requirements.

  • Service Animals must display a valid rabies tag.

Student Owner Responsibilities

  • The student owner is responsible for the health and care of the Service Animal including keeping it clean and well groomed, and free from fleas and ticks.
  • The student owner is responsible for immediately cleaning up after the Service Animal in public places by using a plastic bag and disposing of it in an outside trash receptacle. Indoor and community trash cans/trash rooms may not be used for animal debris. The student owner is thereby responsible for their trash receptacle in and outside the classroom.
  • The student owner is responsible for all of the Service Animal’s actions including any damage to college property and the personal property of others. The college recommends that the student owner have appropriate liability insurance.
  • The student owner is responsible for maintaining control of the Service Animal at all times. Under ADA regulations, animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered unless these devices interfere with the Service Animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In such cases, the Service Animal must be kept under control by voice, signal, or other effective measures.
  • Service Animals must behave in a non-aggressive manner at all times (e.g. no jumping, growling, snarling, biting, or snapping).
  • Service Animals must not be disruptive in the classroom setting (e.g. barking, whining, or disruptive of college or personal property).

Service Animal Accommodation Restrictions

Students who have received Service Animal Accommodations beyond the public domain are permitted in all areas of campus accessible to the owner, excluding areas to which a sterile environment may be compromised (e.g. food prep areas, labs, fitness room, and pool).

  • A Service Animal may be removed from campus if the dog is constantly out of control, aggressive to others, significantly disruptive, or if the dog is not housebroken.

Before a Service Animal is removed from campus, a written warning will be given to the student owner, allowing time for the Service Animal to adhere to guidelines and responsibilities.

1 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), “ADA Requirements: Service Animals,” U.S. Department of Justice, Human Rights Division, 2020, ADA Service Animal Requirements.

Contact Information

For Service Animal Accommodation requests please contact:

Holly Sanborn
Manager, ADA Accommodations
Academic Center for Excellence (ACE)
Phone: 207-893-7562
Fax: 207-893-7572

*To request the use of an Emotional Support Animal* in College Residence Halls, students are asked to submit the Emotional Support Animal Guidelines and Contract to Residential Life. For Emotional Support Animal requests please contact the Director of Residential Life at 207-893-6603.