Service Animals on Campus


Are Service Animals allowed on campus, in housing and in classrooms?

Yes. Service animals are allowed on campus, in housing and in classrooms- anywhere a wheelchair is allowed to go, with few exceptions. When it is not obvious what service the dog provides, college officials may ask only two questions:

  1. Is the dog required because of a disability?
  2. What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?

You may refer the student to Accessibility Resources and Services (ARS) in Dean of Students office for more information about service animals on campus. Additional, a handler is not required to register their Service animal except when the student is living in Pomona College housing.

May I ask about the nature of the student’s disability?

No. It is illegal to ask a person to disclose what their disability is or the reason they need a service animal, unless they are moving into College housing, then ARS can require this information, and only if not readily apparent.

Are animals other than dogs recognized as service animals?

No. Under the law only dogs (or in some instances, miniature horses) are recognized as service animals.

What is considered work or tasks that the dog performs?

The work or tasks performed by a service dog must be directly related to the disability. Examples of such work include:

  • Guiding people who are blind
  • Alerting people who are deaf
  • Reminding a person to take prescribed medication
  • Alerting and protecting a person having a seizure
  • Pulling a wheelchair
  • Retrieve medication when needed
  • Calming a person with PTSD during a panic attack
  • Alerting a person when blood glucose levels are low

The work or task must be active not passive. The effects of the animal's presence by providing emotional support, well‐being, comfort, or companionship does not constitute work or tasks. Such animals are deemed ‘Emotional Support Animals’ and require approval from ARS and can only be in housing. Please refer the student to Accessibility Resources and Services for further guidance.

What if another student or staff member is allergic or afraid of dogs?

Allergies and fear of dogs are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people using service animals. Students with medical condition(s) that are affected by animals must contact ARS if they have a health or safety concern regarding exposure to an animal. ARS is prepared to reasonably accommodate individuals that require accommodations when in proximity to animals. Pomona College employees should contact Human Resources for work place accommodations.

Can I ask for the Service Animal to be removed from housing or a campus building?

A person with a disability cannot be asked to remove his service animal from the premises unless:

  1. The animal poses a serious and direct threat to the health and safety of others.
  2. The animal is not under the control of the handler or effective action is not taken to control the animal.
  3. The animal is not housebroken.
  4. The animal’s behavior creates a fundamental alteration of the College’s program.

Please refer all inquiries for the process in removing a service animal and documentation required to General Counsel.

The person with the Service Animal is responsible for

A current dog license, keeping the dog clean and pest free; all care and clean-up of the animal. The dog must be in a harness or on a leash unless the disability prevents it or would interfere with the animal’s work. The student is responsible for any harm or injury caused by the animal to other students, staff, visitors, and/or property. The animal must be with the owner at all times. Student housing residents must provide an emergency contact to care for the animal if they are unable. The animal cannot be the responsibility of the office staff or fellow students.

Where can Service Animals go on campus?

Service animals are viewed much like a wheelchair for students and can go anywhere the student needs to go. Service animals are granted access to all areas of campus, except where there may be health and safety restrictions that pose specific danger to the animal.

What is general etiquette for Service Animals?

Service animals are usually working when they are with their owner. Most animals are alerted to work when they have their vest and leash on. Some animals perform work at home also, but more informally. Encourage others not to pet or distract the animal in any way while it is working as it can create a hazard for the owner.