Access Center- Student Disability Support Services
Service Animal Policy for MSU Denver Students
Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA and are not allowed in the classroom unless as an approved accommodation by the Access Center.
In compliance with the ADA, service animals are welcome in all buildings on campus and may attend classes, meetings, or other events. Students with disabilities desiring to use a service animal on campus are invited to contact the Access Center to register as a student with a disability. The Director of Access Center (or designee) will evaluate the disability and recommend any additional accommodations appropriate to the functional limitations of the disability.
Requirements of Service Animals and Their Owners Include:
- Dogs must be licensed and vaccinated in accordance with City of Denver regulations.
- Other types of animals must have vaccinations appropriate for that type of animal.
- Service animals must be in good health.
- Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices 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.
- Service animals must be clean/free of odors.
- The owner is encouraged to provide the Access Center with information about their service animal usage in order to enable our office to support their use; and, to be able to respond to any concerns that may arise.
- Reasonable behavior is expected from service animals while on campus. If a service dog, for example, exhibits unacceptable behavior, the owner is expected to employ the proper training techniques to correct the situation. The owners of disruptive and aggressive service animals may be asked to remove them from college facilities. If the improper behavior happens repeatedly, the owner may be told not to bring the service animal into any facility until they take significant steps to mitigate the behavior.
Areas Restricted to Service Animals
The University may prohibit the use of service animals 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 certain research. Such restricted locations include, but are not limited to, food preparation areas, certain research laboratories, mechanical rooms/custodial closets, wood/metal/machine shops, classrooms with demonstration/research animals, areas where protective clothing is necessary, and/or other areas where the animal's presence may constitute a danger or a fundamental alteration of the program or activity conducted in the area. Access torestricted areas may be granted on a case-by-case basis by contacting the Director of the Access Center or the ADA Coordinator. The University will pursue an interactive process to determine whether or not admission of the service animal will be granted or denied.
Removal of Service Animals
The University has the authority to remove a service animal from its grounds or facilities if the service animal becomes unruly or disruptive, unclean, and/or unhealthy to the extent that the animal's behavior or condition poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others or otherwise causes a fundamental alteration in the University's services, programs, or activities. If such behavior or condition persists, the owner may be directed not to bring the animal into public campus areas until the problem is rectified.
In the event of a dispute about an accommodation relating to a service animal, or an animal restriction, a student may file a grievance. Information on the grievance process is located at http://www.msudenver.edu/access/studentgrievanceprocess/.
For More Information
Any questions regarding this policy may be directed to the Access Center Director, 303-615-0200.