Title: #VIII-8. Guidelines for the Use of a Service Animal
West Virginia University at Parkersburg defines “service animal” as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. West Virginia University at Parkersburg defines a companion animal as an animal that provides emotional support for an individual. West Virginia University at Parkersburg does not permit the use of a companion animal as a disability-based accommodation.
Students with disabilities who require the use of a service animal are not required to register with the Disability Services Office. However, those students are encouraged to contact the Disability Services Office for assistance when needed.
A service animal is permitted to accompany the individual with a disability to all areas of campus where students, employees, or members of the public are normally allowed to go. Service animals whose behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others or are disruptive to the campus community may be excluded regardless of training or certification. The presence of service animals cannot fundamentally alter the nature of services provided by the college. The use of service animals may be prohibited in certain locations due to health or safety restrictions, where service animals may be in danger, or where their use may compromise the integrity of research due to the presence of chemicals and/or organisms. Each situation will be considered individually.
Service animals must be housebroken and under the handler’s control at all times through the use of a harness, leash or tether unless such devices interfere with the work of the service animal or if the nature of the student’s disability prevents their use. In those cases, the handler must maintain control of the animal through alternative means such as voice, signal, or other effective controls.
Relief areas on campus include the nearest grassy areas outdoors, with a minimum distance of at least five steps away from the edge of any sidewalk or pavement. The student is responsible for cleaning up after the animal, including voided waste. Students with disabilities who physically cannot clean up after their own service animal will not be required to do so. However, these individuals are to notify security personnel of this circumstance if the animal relieves itself.
Students bringing a service animal to the West Virginia University at Parkersburg campus must abide by all state and local requirements for the presence of animals in public places including vaccinations, licensure, and identification tags, as appropriate. West Virginia University at Parkersburg is not responsible for care or supervision of a service animal. The owner/handler of a service animal is personally responsible for any damages to a facility or sponsored event.
More information regarding the use of service animals under Titles II and III of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) can be found on the United States Department of Justice‘s website at: http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm
Contact the West Virginia University at Parkersburg Office of Disability Services for more information or see the web site at: http://www.wvup.edu/ADA/INDEX.HTM.
Responsible Administrator: Vice President for Student Services, 304-424-8209