Service & Assistance Animal Information

Service Animals and Assistance Animal Policies

Champlain College recognizes that Service Animals and Assistance Animals can play an important role in facilitating the independence of some individuals with certain types of disabilities. In addition, the health and safety of all Champlain College students, faculty, staff, and the Service Animal or Assistance Animal is an important concern. Therefore, Service Animals and Assistance Animals that meet the criteria described below will be exempt from the pet provision above. College community members who have questions about the presence of Service Animals or Assistance Animals on campus should direct those questions to the Office of Accessibility. See below for a description of the student's responsibilities and the reasons for removal of Assistance Animals.

Pet Policy

Students are not allowed to have pets in classrooms, residence halls, in College vehicles (including shuttle buses) or at College-sponsored events. Service Animals (as defined below) are allowed in the spaces previously listed. Assistance Animals (such as Emotional Support Animals), must remain in the approved student's room within their residence hall. Fish are permitted in residence halls in an aquarium that holds 10 gallons of water or less. Fish must be removed from the residence halls during extended break periods.

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A Service Animal is defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as any dog (or in some cases, a miniature horse) that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. The work or task must be directly related to the person's disability. The provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship does not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition (see "Assistance Animals," below). Service Animals in training who are with a member of the College community who has a disability, and with whom the animal will be working as a Service Animal, are provided the same rights as Service Animals under this policy. Students with Service Animals are permitted generally to bring their Service Animals in all areas of a place of public accommodation, such as classrooms, residence halls (including the private residence assigned to the student), activities and events, and dining facilities. However, Service Animals are not permitted if they pose a direct threat to health or safety, if their presence constitutes a fundamental alteration to the nature of a program or service, if they cannot effectively be controlled, or if they are not housebroken. Students planning to bring a Service Animal to campus are encouraged to work closely with the Office of Accessibility. The Office of Accessibility may ask the student if the animal is required because of a disability, and what work or task the animal has been trained to perform, but will not ask about the nature of the student's condition for this purpose. The Office of Accessibility will not require documentation about the training of the Service Animal. Students are encouraged to provide identification that the animal is a Service Animal so that others are aware it is a working animal. See below for a description of the student's responsibilities and the reasons for removal of Service Animals.

Link to this FAQ

An Assistance Animal provides emotional support, comfort, companionship or therapeutic benefits. A person qualifies for a reasonable accommodation involving an Assistance Animal under the Fair Housing Act if:(1) The person has a disability; (2) the animal is necessary to afford the person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy the residence halls; and (3) there is an identifiable relationship between the disability and the assistance the animal provides. Assistance Animals are allowed generally within the residence halls, but not in other College buildings or college vehicles. The College will not, however, permit Assistance Animals in residence halls if they pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others; would cause substantial physical damage to the property of others; would pose an undue financial and administrative burden; or would fundamentally alter the nature of the College's operations.

Link to this FAQ

Assistance Animal Requests

Students planning to bring an Assistance Animal (such as an Emotional Support Animal) to campus must obtain approval from the Office of Accessibility by submitting a request by the appropriate deadline.

If you would like to request to bring an Assistance Animal to campus, please contact the Office of Accessibility.
**Please note that Emotional Support Animals do not require "certification." Beware of online scams claiming to certify your animal.

The Office of Accessibility will provide the student with an ESA Request Form. The form will need to be filled out by a provider, such as a physician, psychologist, psychiatrist or other mental health professional.  Once received, the Office of Accessibility will review the student's ESA Request Form. If a student's request is approved, the student shall be required to provide vaccination records and a clean bill of health from a veterinarian. The student's roommate(s) must also consent to having the animal in their shared living space.

Students must complete all relevant forms and provide necessary documentation by the following deadlines:

Fall Semester:

    • Returning students: August 1
    • New, incoming students: July 1

Spring Semester:

    • Returning students: December 1
    • New, incoming students: December 15

Requirements of Service Animals, Assistance Animals and their owners include:

  • The owner of the animal must be in full control of the animal at all times.
  • Animals must be licensed in accordance with city regulations and, if appropriate, must wear a valid vaccination tag.
  • Animals must be in good health. Any service/assistance animals occupying college housing must have an annual clean bill of health from a licensed veterinarian.
  • Service Animals should wear some type of easily recognized identification symbol (i.e., harness, backpack).
  • Students may need to  provide documentation of the continuing need for the assistance animal on an annual basis.
  • The owner is responsible for appropriate waste clean-up and overall cleanliness of the animal.
  • The owner is responsible for the appropriate management of his or her animal in all College facilities. Disruptive and/or aggressive behavior on the part of the animal may result in the owner being asked to remove the animal from College facilities.
  • The owner is responsible for any property damage or personal injury caused by the animal, or pest control (i.e. flea treatment) required because of the animal.

If you encounter someone with a Service or Assistance Animal...

  • Do not pet a Service Animal or Assistance Animal without permission of the owner; petting a Service Animal when the animal is working distracts the animal from the task at hand. Service dogs typically wear a leather harness, scarf or sign to indicate they are working animals.
  • Do not feed a Service Animal or Assistance Animal. The animal may have specific dietary requirements.
  • Do not deliberately startle a Service Animal or Assistance Animal.
  • Do not separate or attempt to separate an owner from their Service Animal or Assistance Animal.
  • Allow a Service Animal to accompany the owner at all times and everywhere on campus except where Service Animals are specifically prohibited. Assistance animals are not afforded this right, and may only be present in the student's housing if approved by the Student Health & Wellness Center.