Assistive Animals (Service and Support Animals)
UC Riverside affirms the rights of individuals who require assistive animals to participate in all aspects of campus life. A request for an assistive animal (service or support animal) as an accommodation requires an individualized analysis reached through the interactive process. This policy implements federal and state laws regarding access for assistive animals that assist individuals with disabilities at UCR.
This page provides a general overview of the campus’ assistive animals policy. For the full text of the UCR Policy on Assistive Animals, please refer to UCR Policies and Procedures 850-39.
Service animals are trained animals (dogs or miniature horses) that perform functions and tasks that individuals with a disability cannot perform for themselves. The task(s) performed must be directly related to the disability of the individual.
Support animals provide support to individuals with a disability and are defined as animals that provide emotional, cognitive, or other similar support to individuals with a disability, including, but not limited to, traumatic brain injuries or mental disabilities, such as major depression.
Service or support animals are not pets. Pets are domesticated animals that are traditionally kept for pleasure. According the UCR’s Pets on Campus policy, pets cannot be brought into university facilities, or to fenced or un-fenced events. For more information, please refer to UCR Policies and Procedures 850-38 .
Procedures for Service and Support Animals on Campus
Service Animals in Classrooms: Service animals are permitted in campus classrooms. Students who have a working service animal should be permitted to have the service animal with them in the classroom setting. If there are concerns regarding a service animal in the classroom, students and/or faculty should contact the Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) for additional guidance.
Support Animals in Classrooms: Students who may need a support animal as a disability-related accommodation in campus classrooms must contact the SDRC for approval.
Assistive Animals in Laboratories, Animal Facilities, and Research Areas: There may be a situation or a setting where an assistive animal could pose a substantial and direct threat to health and safety. These areas may include laboratories, animal research areas, medical facilities, and food preparation areas. An individualized assessment is required before the assistive animal may be approved or denied entry. An individualized assessment should include the nature, duration, and severity of the risk, the probability of harm or injury, and the availability of modifications to minimize the risk. Departments may require safety precautions. Students should contact the SDRC for additional guidance regarding assistive animals. Employees should contact Human Resources for additional guidance regarding assistive animals.
Assistive Animals in University Housing: Students living in campus apartments or residence halls should contact the SDRC to request an accommodation. For students seeking have an Emotional Support Animal in campus housing, they will need to complete the "Request for Emotional Support Animal (ESA) in University-Owned Housing" Form and submit it to SDRC.
Assistive Animals in the Workplace: Employees should contact Human Resources to request an accommodation.
Reporting an Incident/Lodging a Complaint: The reporting of an incident or the lodging of a complaint involving the assistive animal of a student may be directed to the SDRC. The reporting of an incident or the lodging of a complaint involving the assistive animal of an employee may be directed to and Human Resources. In an emergency situation, call the UC Police Department at 911 or (951) 827-5222. The SDRC and Human Resources will address and refer matters as appropriate.
Excluding Assistive Animals from University Facilities: Failure to comply with responsibilities herein could result in the exclusion of an assistive animal from university facilities. If it is determined that an assistive animal must be excluded from university facilities, the individual bringing and using the assistive animal will be offered an opportunity to participate in the service, program, or activity without that particular assistive animal. Conflicts arising due to the presence of an assistive animal will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
Generally: An individual with a disability may bring and use a service animal on campus. A request for permitting an individual to bring and use a support animal on campus are determined on a case-by-case basis. Requests are reviewed and processed in accordance with federal and state applicable laws and regulations, as well as applicable campus policies and procedures.
Campus Community Members: Members of the university community are expected to abide by the following practices:
- Do not inquire for details about the disability of an individual who brings and uses an assistive animal on campus. The nature of the disability is a private matter.
- Allow a service animal to accompany the individual it is serving at all times and in all places on campus, except where the presence of the service animal presents an unreasonable threat to the health or safety of other individuals on campus. In some situations or settings, such as animal research laboratories and areas housing research or teaching animals, it may be necessary to restrict a service animal. In those situations or settings, UCR will work with the individual with the disability and the faculty member or designate to determine other options for the individual with the disability to receive the benefits of the university.
- Allow a support animal to accompany the individual as an approved accommodation as determined through an interactive process.
- Do not touch or pet an assistive animal.
- Do not feed an assistive animal.
- Do not deliberately startle an assistive animal.
- Do not separate or attempt to separate a handler from their assistive animal.
Individuals with Assistive Animals: An individual handling or using an assistive animal on campus must make sure that it is:
- In good health.
- On a leash or properly restrained at all times.
- Controlled by responsible individuals at all times.
- Properly vaccinated and that the vaccinations are current.
- Maintained in a manner that takes into consideration the health and hygiene of the assistive animal.
- With the individual at all times while on campus.
An individual bringing and using an assistive animal on campus is responsible for:
- Any damage caused by the assistive animal and must take appropriate precautions to prevent property damage or injury.
- The care, supervision, and well-being of the assistive animal at all times while on campus.
An individual bringing and using an assistive animal on campus must:
- Take responsibility for meeting the applicable legal requirements including, but not limited to, maintaining the applicable license.
- Make sure the assistive animal is under control.
- Adhere to cleanup rules.