5.39 Assistance Animals

Macalester College seeks to create a welcoming environment in which all students can reach their academic potential and have equal access to academic opportunities and co-curricular activities. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, individuals with disabilities are protected from discrimination and assured services. The College is committed to addressing barriers encountered by members of the Macalester community with appropriately documented physical, cognitive, and psychological disabilities. Students with disabilities who require service or support animals (which are referred to generally as "assistance animals" henceforth) will be accommodated within the following guidelines.

Who to Contact

If you are a student...

...interested in bringing an assistance animal to Macalester.
Disability Services

...interested in bringing an assistance animal to Macalester campus housing.
Disability Services

...reporting any animal in Macalester housing that is disruptive or poses a safety threat.
Residential Life

...reporting any animal on the broader campus that is disruptive or poses a safety threat.
Campus Safety and Security

...with a disability that may be affected by the presence of animals.
Disability Services

Service Animals

Macalester College recognizes that service animals can play an important role in facilitating the independence of individuals with certain disabilities. Therefore, an appropriately trained animal, under the control of its partner/handler, may be allowed in campus facilities where animals would typically not be permitted.

Per Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Macalester College accommodates service animals. A service animal is defined as any guide dog, signal dog, or miniature horse individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items. Students with service animals are permitted to bring their service animal in all areas where members of the public are generally accommodated. This includes any private residence space assigned to the student. Members of the Macalester community may only ask an individual with a service animal two questions:

1) Is the service animal required because of a disability?

2) What work or task has the service animal been trained to perform?

As service animals are a civil right, documentation of the need for a service animal is not required; however, Macalester encourages students on campus with service animals to check in with the Disability Services office at disabilityservices@macalester.edu, or by calling 651-696-6874. Students who would like to have a service animal in campus housing must register the animal with the Department of Residential Life.

Support Animals

Per the Fair Housing Act (FHA), Macalester College provides reasonable accommodations for support animals (i.e. an emotional support animal or companion animal) in the residence halls. Support animals include animals whose sole function is to provide emotional support, comfort, companionship, or therapeutic benefits. A person requesting a support animal on campus qualifies for reasonable accommodation if:

(1) the person has a documented disability;

(2) the animal is medically necessary to afford the person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy the residence halls;

(3) there is an identifiable relationship between the disability and the support the animal provides

Support animals are generally allowed on campus within the residence halls, in spaces designated by Department of Residential Life. Macalester College will not permit support animals to stay on campus if they would cause substantial physical damage to the property of others; pose an undue financial and administrative burden on the institution; or fundamentally alter the nature of the provider's operations. For example, if a roommate has asthma or allergies or fear of the animal, it is not reasonable for the animal to live in the room/apartment. Efforts would be made to find an alternative housing arrangement but it would be dependent on the time of the notification for the need for the support animal and the availability of housing. Documentation of the need for a support animal should be sent to the Disability Services office at disabilityservices@macalester.edu.

Requirements of Assistance Animals and their owners include:

  • Animals must be licensed in accordance with city regulations and, if appropriate, must wear a valid vaccination tag, as well as a tag listing student contact information.
  • Animals must be in good health. Any assistance animals occupying college housing must have an annual clean bill of health from a licensed veterinarian.
  • The owner is responsible for appropriate waste clean-up and overall cleanliness of the animal.
  • The assistance animal owner is responsible for the appropriate management of the animal in all college facilities, where permitted.
  • Disruptive and/or aggressive behavior on the part of the animal may result in the owner being asked to remove the animal from college facilities.

Etiquette with Assistance Animals

  • Do not pet assistance animals without permission of the owner.
  • Do not feed an assistance animal. The assistance animal may have specific dietary requirements. Unusual food or food at an unexpected time may cause the animal to become ill.
  • Do not deliberately startle an assistance animal.

...with Service Animals

  • Allow a service animal to accompany the partner/handler at all times on campus in areas where members of the public are generally accommodated.
  • Members of the Macalester College community should not separate or attempt to separate a partner/handler from their service animal.

...with Support Animals

  • Allow support animals within the residence halls, in spaces designated by Department of Residential Life