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Service Animal Policy

Purpose

This policy provides rules and guidelines for Service Animals at Western New England University (“University”) facilities.

Scope

This policy applies to all students, employees, and visitors of Western New England University.

Policy

An exception to the University animal and pet policy is granted for Service Animals provided that their behavior, noise, odor and waste do not exceed reasonable standards for a well-behaved animal and that these factors do not create an unreasonable living environment or frequent disruption of students and faculty. In accordance with Massachusetts’ law, a Service Animal is any dog that is 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.[1] If any noise is excessive, as judged by the University’s Residence Life staff, it is grounds to request adjustments, removal, or replacement of the Service Animal. When there is a legitimate reason to ask that a Service Animal be removed, staff will offer the person with the disability the opportunity to obtain goods and services without the Service Animal’s presence.

Terms, Conditions, and Guidelines for Service Animals at Western New England University
  • A handler seeking to use a Service Animal is suggested to notify Student Disability Services (student) or Human Resources (faculty) prior to bringing the Service Animal onto University property in order to assist with safety and health questions.
  • The Service Animal’s handler is responsible for ensuring that the Service Animal is in compliance with applicable state and local laws. This  includes but is not limited to the following:
    • proper immunization and/or vaccination
    • current license and/ or rabies vaccination tag
    • proper flea, tick and other pest control
  • It is suggested and recommended that a Service Animal wear some type of recognizable symbol identifying it as a Service Animal.
  • The Service Animal’s handler is solely responsible for properly containing and disposing of all animal waste in appropriate outside trash dumpsters or making the proper arrangements for such disposal.
  • Service Animal handlers are solely responsible for assuring that the animal does not unduly interfere with the routine activities of the residence or cause difficulties for students who reside there.
  • Residence Life administrators have the authority to relocate a student and the Service Animal as necessary if circumstances are contrary to the terms of the Residence Life agreement and/or other University policies.
  • The handler is financially responsible for any and all actions of the animal, involving bodily injury or property damage. This includes, but is not limited to any replacement of furniture, carpet, window or wall covering as well as cleaning costs considered above normal and reasonable for the room, suite, apartment, or townhouse.
  • Should the animal be removed from the premises for a valid reason, the handler has the right to find a replacement Service Animal. The handler is expected to fulfill his/her housing obligations, including financial obligations, for the duration of the housing contract.
Disclaimer
  • The handler agrees to continue to abide by all other residential University policies. An exception to the policy that otherwise prohibits having an animal does not constitute an exception to any other University policy.
  • Any violation of the above stipulations may result in immediate removal of the animal from Western New England University. If this occurs, the handler has a right to appeal the decision through the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students.
  • The handler, personal representatives, heirs, and assigns, agree to hold harmless and release, waive, and forever discharge Western New England University, its successors, assigns, and other legal representatives, and its officers, trustees, agents, employee and students from, and against, any and all claims, demands and actions, or cause of action, on account of any damage to any personal property, personal injury, or death which may result from my possession of a Service Animal, even though the claim or liability may arise out of the negligence or carelessness on the part of the University, or any third person, whether foreseen or unforeseen, known or unknown.

Revised January 31, 2017

[1] Final Rule on Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in State and Local Government Services, 75 Fed. Reg. 56164 (September 15, 2010); 28 C.F.R. Part 35.104 (effective March 15, 2011).