Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals

Service Animals

As defined by the ADA, a service animal is a dog that has been trained to perform an active task that mitigates or partially mitigates the impact of the handler’s disability. If a Service Animal’s role is not apparent to an observer, you might be asked two questions: “Is that a service animal for a disability?” and “What service/tasks does it perform for you?” Service animals generally do not require any contact with Disability Services.

Emotional Support Animals

Under the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rules, Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) include dogs and other animals, that provide passive support that mitigates, in full or part, an impact of a person’s disability, allowing them to benefit from Seattle University’s Housing and Residence Life programs and services. An ESA can be requested and approved by Disability Services (DS) for SU Housing and Residence Life (HRL).

Requesting Accommodation of an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)

A student requesting an emotional support animal should complete the following steps prior to moving into the residence hall**

  1. Download the Emotional Support Animal - Request for Information form found on the Disability Service site under "Documents to Download". This form is to be completed by a health or mental health care provider and submitted to DS.
  2. Make an appointment with DS to discuss the accommodation.
  3. Student will receive notification from DS if request for an “ESA in residence” is approved or denied. DS may also request additional information if the initial ESA Request for Information form doesn’t provided the necessary information.
  4. If request for an “ESA in residence” is approved, vaccination records and/or an attestation from a veterinarian that the animal is in good health and verification of pet license per King County/Seattle requirements needs to be submitted to DS.
  5. The student will make an appointment with HRL staff to review animal care in the Housing Office in Campion 100.

**Residents of the Douglas Apartments and Vi Hilbert Hall should make a request for an ESA through their property manager directly. 

 Expectations after your assignment has been made and before move-in:

  1. Student submits to DS a vet report of good health/vaccination and proof that the animal is licensed with the City of Seattle.
  2. Final approval given for animal to come into residence by SU HRL after animal care expectation meeting and vet report/licensing has been shared to DS.
  3. All steps must be completed prior to animal arrival. Students who bring an animal on campus prior to obtaining permission may be asked to remove the animal from campus.

Animal Care and Conduct

All animals are the responsibility of their handlers and should be under their control (in proximity to the handler and responsive to commands, in harness, leashed or in a carrier).

  • An ESA or service animal must be housebroken and under owners’ control (voice or tether) at all times.
    • Puppy rearing which focuses on socialization and general obedience training may not qualify as housebroken.
  • ESAs must not be left alone for extended periods of time. It is the responsibility of the handler to arrange for care for the animal if the handler will be away from the animal overnight.
  • All waste from ESAs or service animals must be disposed of in outside receptacles.

An animal’s behavior is considered the handler’s behavior; the animal will be held to the same basic standard of conduct as its handler. If the animal is disruptive to university business or community behavioral expectations for educational, medical, and residential environments, handlers may be asked to correct the animal’s behavior or remove it from the environment.