The Catholic University of America

Support Animals Policy

Approved by: President
History: Issued               -- January 25, 2019
  Revised            --
  Last Reviewed -- January 25, 2019
Related Policies: Non-Discrimination, Anti-Harassment, and Title IX Compliance PolicyDisability Accommodations for Students PolicyPet Policy; Residential Services Policies and Procedures
Additional References: Support Animal Guidelines
Responsible Official: Director, Disability Support Services tel. (202) 319-5211

_______________________________________________________________________________

  I.                 Policy Statement 

The Catholic University of America is committed to providing reasonable accommodations and an accessible environment to qualified students with disabilities. Under the Fair Housing Act, Americans with

Disabilities Act as amended, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, individuals with

a qualified disability may request to have a Support Animal (defined below) as a reasonable accommodation in campus housing facilities that otherwise impose restrictions or have prohibitions on non-service animals in residence. 

  II.              Definitions 

A.     Disability means a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. A disability may be physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or mental. 

B.     Support Animal means an animal that provides emotional support, well-being, or companionship that alleviates or mitigates symptoms of a disability. The presence of the Support Animal must be necessary in order to provide a resident of University-provided housing who has a disability the use and enjoyment of the dwelling. There must be an identifiable relationship between the disability and the assistance or support the Support Animal provides to the resident.  Support Animals are not considered Service Animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Support Animals also are not pets. 

  III.            Requirements 

In order to qualify for a Support Animal accommodation, the requesting student must follow the University’s Support Animal Guidelines.  The Guidelines set forth the criteria for determining if the presence of a support animal is a reasonable accommodation, the required application process, and the resident responsibilities for maintaining a Support Animal in University-provided housing.  

Students wishing to have their Support Animals reside in University-provided housing are asked to provide advance notice (at least 30 days) to the Office Disability Support Services (DSS). Advance notice will enable DSS to review the request and coordinate with the Office of Housing Services to provide appropriate accommodations for the student while also addressing the needs of other students. In the event a student does not provide advance notice, the University will make a good faith effort to accommodate the student with the Service Animal to the extent possible.