Sul Ross State University recognizes the importance of assistance animals for certain residents with qualifying disabilities. This policy provides qualifying on-campus residents the reasonable accommodation to have a live-in assistance animal in the residence hall. This accommodation is meant to allow for full participation and equal access to the residential experience.
What is the difference between an Assistance Animal and a Service Animal?
“Assistance Animals” (also called comfort or therapy animals) are animals that enable a person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy student housing by alleviating the symptoms of the disability. Unlike a Service Animal, an Assistance Animal might not be trained and it does not accompany a person with a disability at all times. Although Assistance Animals may be considered for limited access to student housing, they are not permitted in other areas of the university (e.g. libraries, academic buildings, classrooms, labs, student center, etc.).
A “Service Animal” is a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. In some cases, a miniature horse may be permitted as a Service Animal. Other animals, whether wild or domestic, do not qualify as Service Animals. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, or performing other duties. Service Animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a Service Animal has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as Service Animals. (See the Sul Ross State University policy regarding Services Animals). No documentation will be needed to bring a Service Animal into the residence hall on a temporary basis. If the Service Animal belongs to a resident, the resident should file the appropriate form with the Director of Residential Living.
For more information regarding service animals please visit this link: Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA