Disability Resource Center

Counseling Services Division

Service Animals

This document describes the procedures for the use of service animals by students and employees at Palomar College. Palomar College complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in allowing use of service animals for students, staff and visitors.

DEFINITION

Service Animal:

A service animal as per the ADA is defined as:

“Any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the owner’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 deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, . . . retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.”

 

QUALIFYING TO HAVE A SERVICE ANIMAL ON CAMPUS

For an individual to qualify for having a service animal on campus:

  • The student must have a disability as defined by the ADA;
  • The accompanying animal must be trained to do specific tasks for the qualified individual

Students who require the use of a service animal on campus are encouraged to contact DRC to register as a student with a disability. Information provided to DRC is confidential and specific information about the disability will not be released without the consent of the student.

District-Specific Information:

The District will allow an individual with a disability to use a service animal in District facilities and on District property in compliance with state and federal law.

The District will allow an individual with a disability to use a miniature horse as a service animal in District facilities and on District property if the miniature horse has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of the individual with a disability and the District has determined, based on the assessment factors provided in this procedure, that a reasonable accommodation can be made.

The District will allow an individual with a disability to be accompanied by his/her service animal in all areas of the District’s facilities where members of the public, invitees, clients, customers, patrons, or participants in services, programs or activities, as relevant, are allowed to go.

These procedures shall also be applicable to an individual who is training a service animal.

If it’s not readily apparent that an animal is trained to do work/perform tasks, then District employees may ask two questions ONLY:

  1. Is the animal required because of a disability; and
  2. What work/task is the animal trained to perform?

District employees may NOT ask about the nature/extent of the disability, may NOT require documentation that the dog is trained or is a service animal, and may NOT ask the dog to perform the work/task.

The following resources may be helpful when seeking more information regarding service and emotional support animals:

Palomar College Policies

Palomar Board Policy 3440 – Service Animals

Palomar Administrative Procedure 3440 – Service Animals

Department of Justice

Revised ADA Requirements

Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA

Adapted from Brown University