VII. 714 - Pet, Service Animal, and Assistance Animal Policy

Rev. 2-1-17

Drury University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities to facilitate their access to the university’s programs and activities.  The university is also committed to providing its students, employees, and visitors with a healthy and respectful environment in which to study and work, while also preserving the safety of animals and people on campus and protecting the university from liability in animal control incidents.

Individuals with disabilities who require the use of service or assistance animals as a reasonable accommodation for their disability may be permitted to bring such animals on campus as long as they comply with the university’s policies regarding such animals as stated in this policy.


Service animal:  A service animal is defined as a dog or miniature horse that is individually trained or in the process of being trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.  The work or task a service animal has been trained to provide must be directly related to the functional limitations of the person’s disability.  Examples of work or tasks provided by a service animal include, among others, guiding a person with impaired vision, alerting a person with a hearing impairment, pulling a wheelchair, or alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure.  Animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals.

Assistance animal:  An assistance animal:  (i) works, provides assistance, or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or (ii) provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability.  Examples of tasks performed by assistance animals include, among others, guiding a person with impaired vision, alerting a person with a hearing impairment, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, or calming a person suffering from disabling anxiety or depression.  An assistance animal may or may not also qualify as a service animal.  Some, but not all animals that assist persons with disabilities are professionally trained.  Other assistance animals are trained by the owners themselves and, in some cases, no special training is required.  Unlike a service animal, assistance animals do not assist with daily living tasks.  Therefore, assistance animals remain in the residence and do not accompany an individual with a disability at all times, i.e. they do not attend class, or enter the dining hall or other residence halls.

Approved animal:  A service or assistance animal that has been approved by the university to be on campus.

Handler:  A handler is the student, employee, or other person who utilizes a service or assistance animal as an accommodation.

Pet:  A pet is an animal kept for ordinary use and companionship.  A pet is not considered a service animal or an assistance animal.

Animals on Campus

With the exception of the animals specified in this policy, animals are not allowed in university-owned or controlled buildings or facilities during hours of instruction, normal business operations, scheduled events, or any other university function, unless a specific exemption for the occasion has been approved by the Vice-President for Administration.

Exempted Animals:

  • Service animals (as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act)
  • Assistance animals (as defined in the Fair Housing Act)
  • Animals used for instructional purposes of the university
  • Fish
  • Pets approved for Pet-Friendly Housing

Inhumane or cruel treatment of pets on university property is prohibited.


The presence of pets on campus may create an increased risk of harm and damage to persons and property.  Therefore, the university restricts the presence of pets on its property.

Animals in Pet-Friendly Housing

Residents of certain housing units may apply to bring a pet to campus housing. Students assigned to the pre-approved location (please consult the housing office for pet-friendly housing locations) who are considering a pet, shall file a signed Pet Request & Agreement with essay & required documents, at the Housing office at least 30 days prior to move-in (or 30 days prior to bringing a pet). Pets are not allowed in any other student housing.

  • Pets must be leashed and under the direct control of their owners at all times while on campus grounds.  Pets may not be tethered and unattended.  Pets must be taken with the student if they leave campus for a prolonged period of time and may not be left overnight in campus housing to be cared for by another student.
  • Pets must have a current vaccination certificate from a licensed veterinarian, applicable.
  • Pet owner will be responsible for cleaning up all messes the pet may make, including properly disposed of waste the pet leaves in outdoor areas of campus (this does not apply to service animals and their owners) and are liable for any accident or damage caused by the pet while on campus.
  • The pet’s behavior may not be counterproductive or disruptive to the mission of the university

Service Animals

Subject to the rules outlined in this Policy, Drury University permits qualified individuals with a disability to bring a service animal to all areas of public accommodation where members of the public, students, faculty, staff, or guests are allowed to go.  The service animal must be individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability.

Procedures for Non-Residential Students and University Employees

Non-resident students seeking to bring a service animal to campus must contact Disability Support Services (873-7357) to schedule a meeting with the Director of Disability Services.  The individual must also complete and submit a Disability Disclosure and Accommodation Form, but is not required to complete the disability section. The sections below covering “Procedures for Residential Students” and “Specific ProvisionsService Animals” apply as well.

University employees seeking to bring a service animal to campus must contact the Human Resources office at (417) 873-7434 to schedule a meeting with the Associate Vice President – Human Resources.

Procedures for Residential Students

Service animals may accompany students, employees, and visitors with disabilities to Drury University events, activities, and locations with rare exceptions.  Local, state, and federal laws regulate the use of service animals at Drury University.

Service Animals:  According to the U.S. Department of Justice, service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition.  The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability.  Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors.  The crime deterrent effects of an animal’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.

On a case by case basis, Drury University may also permit the use of a housebroken miniature horse by an individual with a disability if the miniature horse has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of the individual with a disability.  Persons wishing the University to consider use of a miniature horse should Director of Disability Support Services.

Specific Provisions – Service Animals

  1. Generally, Drury University will permit the use of a service animal by individuals with disabilities. The University may ask an individual with a disability to remove a service animal from the premise if (1) the animal is out of control and the animal’s handler does not take effective action to control it; or (2) the animal is not housebroken.  If a service animal is properly excluded under this provision, the individual with a disability will be given the opportunity to participate in Drury University’s service, program, or activity without having the service animal on the premises.
  2. A service animal may be excluded if Drury University makes an individualized assessment based on reasonable judgment and best available objective evidence that the service animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others that cannot be mitigated by reasonable modifications.
  3. A service animal must be immunized against diseases common to that type of animal.
  4. A service animal must be under the control of its handler (e.g., harness, leash, voice control, signals, or other means).
  5. Student is responsible for the care, well-being, and supervision of a service animal at all times.
  6. Drury University will not ask about the nature or extent of a person’s disability, but may make two inquiries to determine whether an animal qualifies as a service animal: 1) if the animal is required because of a disability and 2) what work or task the animal has been trained to perform.  Documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal will not be required.  Generally, inquires may not be made about a service animal when it is readily apparent that an animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability (e.g., the dog is observed guiding an individual who is blind or has low vision, pulling a person’s wheelchair, or providing assistance with stability or balance to an individual with an observable mobility disability).
  7. Individuals with disabilities shall be permitted to be accompanied by their service animals in all areas of the University’s facilities where members of the public, participants in services, programs or activities, or invitees, as relevant, are allowed to go.
  8. Drury University will not require an individual with a disability to pay a surcharge, even if people accompanied by pets are required to pay fees, or to comply with other requirements generally not applicable to people without pets. If the University normally charges individuals for the damage they cause, an individual with a disability may be charged for damage caused by his or her service animal.

Assistance Animals

An assistance animal is an animal that is necessary to afford a person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling when there is an identifiable relationship or nexus between the person’s disability and the assistance the animal provides.  In accordance with the Fair Housing Act (FHA), Drury University will entertain reasonable requests for assistance animals in campus housing at least 30 days prior to move-in.

Students seeking to bring an assistance animal to their residence need to provide Drury’s Disability Support Services office (DSS) with documentation from a licensed medical or mental health provider that indicates the species of the animal and affirmatively answers the following two questions:

  1. Does the person seeking to use and live with the animal have a disability - i.e., a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities?
  2. Does the person making the request have a disability-related need for an assistance animal? In other words, does the animal work, provide assistance, perform tasks or services for the benefit of a person with a disability, or provide emotional support that alleviates one or more of the identified symptoms or effects of a person's existing disability?

The health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and the assistance animal is an important concern; therefore, each request for such an accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis by DSS in conjunction with Housing and the Dean of Students.  Residents may request to have no more than one animal due to the confined living space.

When the Director of DSS has determined a qualifying disability exists, he/she will contact the Housing Office.  At that time, the Housing Office will schedule a meeting with the student to discuss reasonable accommodations.  If the request may be reasonably accommodated and does not fundamentally alter the housing program or community, the Housing Office will provide an agreement that outlines the rules and obligations for having that particular species in campus housing.

After the student has signed the agreement and provided the required veterinary records outlined for that species, the Housing Office will provide written confirmation to the student (and need-to-know offices) that the assistance animal may reside with the student in his/her assigned bedroom or apartment.  An approved assistance animal (that is not also defined as a service animal) may only be in a student’s private dwelling (assigned bedroom or apartment) and is prohibited in all other campus locations.  When being transported out of the room, the animal must be caged or leashed.

Assistance animals are required to be housebroken, be in good health and vaccinated per all applicable laws, and under adult control at all times.  Assistance animals may not infringe upon the right of other tenants to enjoy their residence (allergies, noise, odor, phobias, scratching, chewing, etc.).

Drury may reassign a student to a different housing location to accommodate a request for an assistance animal.  Additionally, if the animal infringes upon the rights of other residents or poses a threat to others, the student may lose the right to have the animal in housing.

A student may request an extension into the next academic year, but must provide updated vaccination/vet records before approval will be granted.

Students should not acquire an animal prior to signing & filing the species-specific agreement to ensure the animal will meet Drury’s parameters, and is not prohibited by law.  A student who has an animal in campus housing areas without official Housing Office approval is in violation of our no-pets policy (with the exceptions of a service animal or fish in <10-gallon tank).  In that circumstance, there is an automatic $150 fine assessed to the student’s account.

Additionally, prior to obtaining an animal, students should consider their academic, co-curricular and social commitments to establish how much time and energy is available for animal care/exercise.  Consider the animal’s temperament -- will the animal be quiet and well-mannered in a small residential space?  Students should establish a plan for the financial costs of animal food, medications, supplies, training, grooming, veterinary & emergency care, and off-campus boarding in the event the student must leave town overnight.  If the animal does not get along in campus housing or is too difficult to care for, who will take the animal?  Being mindful of these factors and questions will help ensure a successful match between student and animal.