Assistance Animals in Student Housing

Assistance Animals are animals that work, assist and/or perform tasks and services for the benefit of a person with a disability or provide emotional support for therapeutic benefit, such as alleviating or mitigating symptoms of a disability. To be afforded protection under United States federal law, a person must meet the federal definition of disability and must have a signed statement from a physician or other qualified medical professional stating that the animal provides a benefit for the individual with the disability. An assistance animal does not need specific training. In the United States, federal protection against housing discrimination is afforded under two federal statutes: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988.

With the exception of service animals, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Berea College requires all Assistance Animals be registered through the Disability & Accessibility Services (DAS) prior to being brought to campus and entering the residence halls. During this registration process, students will need to make an appointment with DAS and provide verification of the disability and an explanation from a qualified individual of the purpose and need of the assistance animal. While not an exhaustive list, examples of "qualified individuals" include treating physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists and licensed counselors. DAS will provide authorization that will indicate your animal has been approved and authorizes you to have your animal on campus and in your residence hall room. Students residing with their Assistance Animals in Student Housing will have to provide a yearly updated vaccination record for the animal to the Student Housing staff.

The College is not responsible to provide care or food for any Assistance Animal including, but not limited to, removing the animal during emergency evacuation for events such as a fire alarm. Emergency personnel will determine whether to remove the animal and may not be held responsible for the care, damage to, or loss of the animal.

While your animal is on campus the student has the following responsibilities:

  1. Maintain all required vaccinations for the animal.
  2. Maintain control of the animal by leash, harness or tether, or properly contained in an appropriate container any time the animal is outside of the room.
  3. Ensure the animal is well cared for at all times.
  4. With the exception of service animals, Assistance Animals are allowed in public and common areas of the student’s residence hall. The animal must not interfere with the opportunity of other students sharing the space.
  5. Work cooperatively with Student Life Area Coordinators and student staff to resolve issues that might arise due to the presence of the animal, including those involving other residents.
  6. Live animals cannot be brought on campus to be fed to Assistance Animals.
  7. Properly contain and dispose of all animal waste in appropriate outside trash containers.
  8. The student is responsible if the animal attacks or harms another person.

Failure to follow these guidelines may result in the requirement of the removal of the animal from the residence hall and campus. An individual with a disability may be charged for any damage caused by his or her Assistance Animal beyond reasonable wear and tear to the same extent that other individuals are charged for damages beyond reasonable wear and tear. If either of these events occurs, the person being charged may appeal the decision to

For more information about Assistance Animals, including Emotional Support Animals, requirements, and responsibilities, please see Assistance Animal Procedures on the DAS website. For more information about Service Animals, please see Service Animal Procedures on the DAS website.