It is the policy of High Point University to comply with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADA), the Fair Housing Act, and other applicable federal and state regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. High Point University is aware of its responsibility to provide safe, healthy housing to all students living in University Residence Halls and is committed to providing equal access to University Housing to all students with qualifying disabilities. In keeping with this obligation, it is the policy of High Point University that emotional support animals are permitted in all housing facilities in accordance with University procedures and policies.
This policy includes the procedures for requesting an emotional support animal and the responsibilities of students who have emotional support animals in University Residence Halls.
Emotional Support Animal (ESA). An animal providing emotional or other support to ameliorate one or more identified symptoms or effects of a disability. Emotional Support Animals are not required to be trained to perform work or tasks and can be species other than dogs or miniature horses. ESAs may not be brought into residential communities without prior approval from The Office of Accessibility Services. Each request will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis as outlined in this policy, considering the individual request and the rules of the University Community. ESAs are not subject to the species, breed, and weight restrictions detailed in the University Pet Policy.
Service Animal. A service animal is a dog that has been individually trained to do work, or perform a task(s), “for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disability (ADA National Network).” The service animal must be individually trained in the task(s) that directly relate to the individual’s disability.
OARS may ask the following questions:
- Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
- What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
- A service animal can accompany its partner in all areas where the public is normally allowed except for the following areas: anywhere the presence of the dog would cause safety concerns, the dog is not under control, or where having the dog there would fundamentally alter the program.
- Service vests or identifiers are highly encouraged.
- Faculty and Staff can require that the dog be removed from the classroom or area if: the presence of the dog would cause safety concerns, the dog is not under control, shows aggression, or the dog is not housebroken.
Documentation is required for any type of requested accommodation. Documentation for housing accommodations or an Emotional Support Animal, must be from a qualified professional. Qualified professional, for our purposes, is defined as a non-family member whose professional training qualifies them to diagnose and treat the impairments associated with the student’s disability. The student must either be a current patient of the professional who completes the documents or have an established history of treatment that is documented. Each question on the required forms must be completed by the medical professional. We will not accept notes or letters in lieu of the provided documents.
Approved ESA. Approved Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is an animal that has been permitted in designated areas of residential communities as a reasonable accommodation under this policy.
Pet. A pet is an animal kept for ordinary use and companionship. A pet is not considered an Emotional Support Animal or a Service Animal. Individuals are not permitted to keep or bring pets on University property or in University housing without prior approval under the University Pet Policy. For more information on the University Pet Policy, click here.
ESA Owner. The owner is the resident student who has an approved Emotional Support Animal (ESA) in University housing under this policy.
University Housing. Any facility owned or operated by the University for the purpose of housing residential students, whether leased or owned by the University and regardless of location.
Instructions for Requesting an Emotional Support Animal:
- Request for Emotional Support Animal form. Students requesting an ESA must complete and submit the Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Form at the OARS Accommodation Requests page.
- Request for Housing Accommodation Form. Students requesting an ESA in University Housing must complete and submit the Housing Accommodation Form at the OARS Accommodation Requests page.
- Request for Emotional Support Animal – Medical Documentation Form. Students requesting an Emotional Support Animal must also submit the Request for Accessible Housing – Medical Documentation Form – completed by their medical professional. Return the completed form to OARS, via FAX: 336‐888-6324 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The form can also be uploaded on our Submit Accommodation Support Documentation page.
- ESA Health Documentation. Students requesting an ESA in University Housing must provide to the Office of Accessibility Services documentation from a professional veterinarian that the ESA is current on all applicable vaccinations, including rabies, and is in good health along with the Request Forms. All ESAs must have an annual well-care visit with a licensed veterinarian. They must have had a general maintenance vaccination series appropriate to the species. All vaccinations must be current, and applicable animals must wear a current rabies vaccination tag. ESA owners must provide satisfactory documentation of this on-going compliance for an ESA.
- Rules and Responsibilities Agreement must be signed prior to the student bringing the ESA to campus.
- Once the Office of Accessibility Services receives the required documentation, it will issue a decision regarding the requested ESA. The student requesting the ESA will be notified if the ESA is approved or if the Office of Accessibility Services needs additional information regarding the request. Decisions regarding ESA’s may take three weeks or more after documentation from a Medical Doctor, Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Counselor or Therapist has been received in the DSS Office. If medical documentation is incomplete or illegible, this may further delay the decision, while the ARS Office contacts the medical provider for more information.
- Denials of Requests for Emotional Support Animals. The University is not required to provide accommodations that would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others. Thus, if a particular animal requested by a student with a disability has a history of dangerous behavior or an unsafe disposition, the University will deny the request for an emotional support animal. The University will also deny requests that would: (1) result in substantial physical damage to the property of others unless the threat can be eliminated or significantly reduced by a reasonable accommodation; (2) pose an undue financial and administrative burden on the University; or (3) fundamentally alter the nature of the University’s Student Life operations. If your request for an emotional support animal is denied, please contact Accessibility Services for further clarification of its decision.
Conflicting Health Conditions and Aversions
Students with a medical condition or aversion who are affected by animals (e.g. allergies, asthma, respiratory conditions, zoophobia, etc.) because of living in close proximity to Emotional Support Animals should contact the Office of Accessibility Services. Accessibility Services will work with Student Life to reasonably accommodate residents with disabilities who need accommodation when living in close proximity to Emotional Support Animals as may be required by applicable law.
Rules and Responsibilities of ESA Owner
Once the Office of Accessibility Services has approved the ESA, the ESA Owner must abide by the following rules and responsibilities. Failure to abide by the ESA rules and responsibilities may lead to sanctions including removal of the ESA from University Housing.
- The ESA Owner must complete and submit to the Office of Accessibility Services the Request for Emotional Support Animal Documentation Form and the Request for Housing Accommodation Form, as well as the required ESA Health Documentation before bringing the requested ESA to campus.
- The ESA Owner agrees to abide by all other residential policies. An exception to the animal policy made under this ESA Policy does not constitute an exception to any other University policy.
- All ESAs will be provided with a University Identification tag that the ESA owner must pick up from the Office of Student Life after receiving approval for the ESA from the Office of Accessibility Services. Unless impractical, the ESA should wear the tag at all times.
- The ESA will remain in the ESA Owner’s University assigned room and is not permitted in other student’s rooms or the common areas of the residential facilities, and other areas of the University such as classrooms, academic buildings, administrative buildings, libraries, dining services areas, fitness center, pool etc.
- ESAs brought on campus must be under the control of the ESA owner at all times. The ESA Owner must be in full control of the animal at all times (i.e. leash, harness, crate). The ESA owner is solely responsible for the animal’s well-being, care and cleaning, including but not limited to regular feeding, bathing, grooming, daily care and veterinary services.
- The owner must comply with all applicable laws regarding the keeping of an animal and is responsible for making sure the ESA does not disrupt the residential community.
- The ESA may not be left unattended overnight in the residential facilities to be cared for by another student. ESAs must be taken with the owner if they leave campus for a prolonged period.
- When ESAs are left unattended in a student’s room, they are required to be stored in a crate, carrier or kennel. This containment will allow High Point University officials to routinely access to the residential facilities for maintenance and other routine tasks without posing risk to the animal or employees.
- Dogs as ESAs must be “house broken” and cats as ESAs must be litter box trained. Other smaller animals (i.e. gerbils, rabbits, guinea pigs etc.) must be caged and may not be left loose in the student’s room.
- ESAs must be taken out of the building by way of the shortest and most direct path, and must be maintained under standard restraints such as a carrier and/or collar when outdoors, in public areas, or in transit and must be confined to the residence when not in transit.
- Fecal matter deposited on University grounds or within the facilities need to be removed immediately and disposed of properly. The owner is to arrange for immediate removal of fecal matter if unable to perform the task personally.
- The ESA owner’s residence may be inspected for fleas, ticks, pests, and/or damage to the residential facilities once a semester or as needed. The Office of Student Life will schedule the inspection and notify the resident in advance of the scheduled inspection. If fleas, ticks, or other pests are detected through inspection, the residence hall will be treated using approved fumigation methods by a University-approved pest control service. The ESA owner will be billed for the expense of any necessary pest control treatment.
- The University may remove or require the removal of the ESA that poses a threat to the health or safety to others on campus, disrupts the educational environment of the University and/or residential community, or if the owner does not comply with the ESA Owner’s rules and responsibilities for Emotional Support Animals. It is the responsibility of the ESA Owner to ensure the ESA does not interfere with the quality of life of other residents on campus. This includes noise violations (e.g. barking or other disruptive noise).
- The owner will be financially responsible for expenses incurred above a standard cleaning or for repairs to the residential premises, including losses, liability, claims, and harm to others caused by the ESA.
- The owner will hold the University blameless in the event the ESA goes missing. University staff is not responsible for the retrieval of the ESA in the event the animal escapes or becomes lost.
- The owner must notify Office of Accessibility Services in writing if the ESA is no longer needed as an ESA, or is no longer in the residential facilities. To replace a previously approved ESA, the owner must complete any registration and other related forms to the Office of Accessibility Services.
Agreement between the Student and High Point University
The owner of an ESA may be asked to remove the ESA from University facilities if the owner or ESA fails to comply with the Rules and Responsibilities in this Policy and other University Policies.