Emotional Support Animal Approval Procedures

The following guidelines should be followed when applying for an Emotional Support Animal:


Appropriate documentation (in letter form) needs to be submitted to me including the following:

  • The letter is to be written on official letterhead from a licensed mental health professional (i.e., therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, licensed clinical social worker, not provisionally licensed, not a family doctor).
  • Letter must state that the student is under the care of the treating professional.
  • Licensed mental health professional must confirm that the student has a disability or handicap which substantially limits one or more major life activities; a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment.
  • Description of how animal is prescribed to alleviate one or more of the symptoms of the student’s condition.

The letter must be received by the Director of Disability Support Services 30 days prior to having the ESA move into the campus residence with you.

A release of information must be signed by you authorizing permission for the Director of Disability Support Services to consult with your licensed mental health professional about the need for your ESA. The release form will be made available by the Director of Disability Support Services.

Once the documentation letter is received and the release of information signed, the Director of Disability Support Services will review your request, supporting documents, and consult with your mental health provider. The approval process may take one week.

Once your request for an ESA has been approved by the Director of Disability Support Services, you will then contact the Drury Housing Office to discuss species-specific parameters for having an animal in your housing assignment. Although you may receive permission from the Disability Support office to consider bringing an ESA to your campus room, the specific animal that you hope to bring must also meet certain criteria that will be outlined by the Director of Housing. Approval for your specific animal will only be granted after the Housing office has a completed ESA agreement and supporting documentation.

Please contact me if you have questions.

Ed Derr LPC, NCC
Director of Counseling and Disability Support Services
(417) 873-7457
ederr@drury.edu