University Policy 3-231, governs animals on campus and restricts animals, except for service animals from University buildings and facilities. In specific instances, exceptions can also be made in university-provided housing or to assist an employee in performing the essential functions of their position. Certain areas of campus may adopt more stringent policies.
Service Animal: under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a service animal is defined as a dog (or in some instances a miniature horse) that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the service animal must be directly related to the person's disability. The Department of Justice (DOJ) provides additional information about the definition of a service animal at https://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm.
A service animal can be trained to perform many important tasks to assist people with disabilities such as providing stability for a person who has difficulty walking, picking up items for a person who uses a wheelchair, retrieving dropped items, reminding a person to take medication, preventing a child with autism from wandering away, or alerting a person who has hearing loss when someone is approaching them from behind. In general, a service animal initiates a task through recognition of the need for the task, or on prompt by the handler, which provides support related to a disability. Providing comfort is not a task under this definition.Comfort animals and emotional support animals: comfort and emotional support animals are not service animals under Title II and Title III of the ADA. The primary function of a comfort/emotional support animal is to provide comfort through its presence. Because they have not been trained to perform a specific job or task, they do not qualify as service animals under the ADA. A comfort/emotional support animal may be of any species allowed in Salt Lake County.
The University allows service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas where the public is normally allowed to go. There may be some limited circumstances where a service animal may be precluded from entering a certain space or building (e.g. where the presence of an animal may compromise a sterile environment.) Comfort/emotional support animals are not allowed into buildings or other areas of campus where pets are prohibited which includes classrooms. However, comfort/emotional support animals may be approved for university-provided housing and in some employment situations (see ESAs in Campus Housing).
An individual with a disability who requests a reasonable accommodation of a comfort/emotional support animal in their university-provided housing can make the request to the Center for Disability & Access (CDA). The resident may be asked to provide documentation from a medical provider supporting the request. If approved, the approval is solely for the place of residence and does not imply the animal can be brought to other areas of campus that normally prohibits pet. More information about the process and policies can be directed to CDA.
Documentation might include a detailed description of how the animal would help the employee in performing job tasks and how the animal is trained to behave in the workplace. A person seeking such an accommodation may suggest that the employer permit the animal to accompany them to work on a trial basis.
Both service animals and comfort/emotional support animals may be excluded from the workplace if they pose either an undue hardship or a direct threat in the workplace.
To request a reasonable accommodation:
- Campus and Health Science employees may request an accommodation through an online form or contacting Human Resources directly.
- Online Form: Request for Disability Accommodation Form for Campus and Health Science Employees.
- Contact: University of Utah
Human Resource Management
250 East 200 South, Suite 125
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
- UUHC Employees may request an accommodation through an online form or contacting UUHC HR directly.
- All animals on campus must be on a leash and/or under the control of their handler at all times
- All animals must be under the constant supervision of their handler at all times
- No animal may be left unattended at any time on campus. No animals may be tied or tethered to any university property including to buildings, railings, bike racks, fire hydrants, fences, sign posts, benches and/or trees
- Animals are not permitted in flower gardens/beds or fountains
- Animals may not disrupt or interfere with university activities, including but not limited to teaching, research, service or administrative activities
- Handlers are responsible for cleaning up after their animals and may be strictly liable for any damage to property or injury to persons caused by their animals.
- Handlers must comply with all state, county and city laws pertaining to animal control while on campus.
- Service animals' primary function while inside buildings should be to provide a necessary service. They should not be allowed on furniture, such as tables and chairs. Feeding and providing water for animals should be done in appropriate locations, such as outside of buildings.
In situations where it is not obvious that the dog is a service animal, staff may ask only two specific questions listed below:
(1) Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
(2) What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
Staff are not allowed to request any documentation for the dog, require that the dog demonstrate its task, or inquire about the nature of the person's disability.