Service Animal 5013


Service Animals: A service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The work or tasks performed by the service animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to:

  • assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks;
  • alerting individuals who are D/deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds;
  • pulling a wheelchair;
  • assisting an individual during a seizure or change in blood sugar;
  • alerting individuals to the presence of allergens;
  • retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone; or
  • providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility-related disabilities.

University Property: Land or buildings Longwood University owns or leases and are under the control of the Board of Visitors. University property also includes premises the University uses for activities of its offices, departments, personnel, or students.

Policy Owner: Student Affairs and Administration and Finance

Purpose: This policy establishes requirements applicable to Service Animals and Service Dogs in Training at Longwood University. These requirements provide consistency in the use and access of service animals, including those in training, on University property.

Policy Statement: The University, schools, units, offices and departments shall adhere to the following requirements:

  1. Service Animals:
    Service animals are not pets. In addition, service animals are not required to wear a vest, ID tag, or specific harness.

    If there is a reason to question whether a dog is a service animal, University personnel may ask only the following two specific questions:

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

    An individual’s failure to answer the above questions may result in exclusion of the animal.

    University personnel may not ask questions about the nature of the individual’s disability;require proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal; or require that the service animal demonstrate the task it performs.

    Service Animal Access:
    Generally, individuals with disabilities are permitted to be accompanied by their service animals in all areas of the University where members of the public, participants in services, programs, or activities, or invitees are permitted. An individual with a disability is not required to request permission to bring a service animal, including a service dog in training, on University property where the public is permitted to go.

    Handler Responsibilities for Service Animals:
    A “handler” is the individual responsible for the care, supervision, and behavior of a service animal. Care and supervision include toileting, feeding, grooming, and veterinary care. University officials are not required to supervise or otherwise care for a service animal.

    The handler also is responsible for keeping the service animal under control. The service animal must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered unless these devices cannot be used because they would interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.

  2. Removal of Service Animals:
    University officials may ask an individual with a disability to remove a service animal from public areas under two circumstances:

    1. the dog is out of control, and the handler does not take effective action to control it; or
    2. the dog is not housebroken.

    Examples of behavior that would qualify as “out of control” include behavior by a service animal that poses a threat to the health or safety of others or disrupts or interferes with University programs or activities (e.g., aggressive behavior such as lunging or biting toward other University community members). This determination, however, may not be made based on assumptions about the breed of dog or based on past experience with other animals. Further, a service animal may be removed if allowing it to remain would fundamentally alter the nature of the program or service. University personnel will make an individualized assessment when determining whether it is appropriate to remove a service animal from public areas.

    If an individual with a disability is asked to remove a service animal, the individual must be given the opportunity to continue to remain on University property or to enjoy the University programs and activities without the service animal present.

  3. Service Dogs in Training:
    A “service dog in training” is not a service animal under the ADA. However, Virginia state law requires that individuals with disabilities, who are accompanied by service dogs in training be allowed to go where the public is normally permitted or invited provided the dog is at least six months of age, and at least one of the following factors is met:

    1. in harness, provided [the individual] is an experienced trainer of guide dogs or is conducting continuing training of a guide dog;
    2. on a blaze orange leash, provided [the individual] is an experienced trainer of hearing dogs or is conducting ongoing training of a hearing dog;
    3. in a harness, backpack, or vest identifying the dog as a trained service dog, provided [the individual] is an experienced trainer of service dogs or is conducting continuing training of a service dog;
    4. [the individual] is wearing a jacket identifying the recognized guide, hearing, or service dog organization, provided [the individual] is an experienced trainer of the organization identified in the jacket.