Longwood University Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Policy

Longwood University provides reasonable accommodations to students with documented disabilities living in University-managed housing. Longwood University allows emotional support animals (also known as therapy animals or assistance animals) to live with students in their University-managed housing upon approval by the Office of Disability Resources.

The student will be asked to provide documentation verifying the following: (1) the student has a disability, (2) the animal is necessary to afford the student with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling, and (3) there is a clear and identifiable relationship between the disability and the assistance the animal provides. The student will need to work directly with the Director of Disability Resources to discuss what specific paperwork would be required. Please email millerkierandm@longwood.edu

It is important to distinguish between service animals and emotional support animals. Service animals are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. For example, service animals may guide individuals with impaired vision, alert individuals with hearing impairments to sounds, pull a wheelchair, or fetch items used in daily living. Longwood University’s Service Animal Policy can be found here: http://solomon.longwood.edu/disibility/policies--procedures/service-animal-policy.php

An emotional support animal is not a service animal and thus not entitled to the same privileges as service animals. Emotional support animals are not permitted in any other area other than the student’s residence and immediate surrounding area.

Longwood University may exclude an emotional support animal from housing if it (1) poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, (2) would cause substantial physical damage to the property of others, (3) would pose an undue financial or administrative burden, or (4) results in a fundamental alteration of the University’s program(s).

The following tasks will comprise the process for approval under this policy:

  • Registration with Office of Disability Resources
  • Meet with Director of Disability Resources to review need for emotional support animal
  • If approved, review and sign the University’s Emotional Support Animal Agreement
  • Additionally, the student must provide evidence that the animal is in good health and has been vaccinated against diseases common to that breed of animal as recommended by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Veterinary records attesting to that fact must be submitted.