Service Animal Frequently Asked Questions

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On March 18, 2024


Under the ADA, a service dog is any dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.

  • The task(s) performed must be directly related to the person’s disability.
  • The service dog must be trained to take a specific action when needed to assist a person with a disability. For example, a service dog may recognize seizure activity and alert and protect the handler.
  • The task(s) must be active not passive. Animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

Are service dogs allowed on campus and in classrooms?

Service dogs are permitted within university-controlled facilities, including classrooms.

Students who wish to bring a service dog to Missouri S&T are covered by the ADA and may bring the animal to campus without prior approval. Missouri S&T requests but cannot require students to voluntarily register service dogs with Student Accessibility and Testing.

University employees are generally allowed to use service animals in the workplace unless doing so would pose a substantial risk to health or safety. Employees planning to bring a service dog to work should contact the ADA Coordinator.

What if you are not sure that a dog is a service animal?

When it is not obvious that a dog is a service animal, two questions may be asked.

  • Is this dog a service animal required because of your disability?
  • What disability related service is it trained to provide?

The individual should not be asked questions about their disability, for the dog to demonstrate its work or task, or for documentation, such as proof that the animal has been trained as a service dog.

Questions about whether the dog qualifies as a service animal should be directed to Student Accessibility and Testing for students or the ADA Coordinator for employees.

What are the responsibilities of service dog handlers?

A handler is a person with a disability that a service dog assists or a personal care attendant who handles the animal for a person with a disability.

  • The animal’s care: The cost of care, arrangements, and responsibilities for the well-being of the service animal are the sole responsibility of the handler at all times.
  • Leash requirements: The service animal should generally be on a leash at all times unless the owner is unable use a leash due to disability or the use of the leash would interfere with the animal’s ability to perform its duties.
  • Keeping the animal under control: The dog should respond to voice or hand commands at all times and be fully controlled by the handler.
  • Responsibility for damage caused by the animal: Handlers are responsible for any damage or injuries caused by their animals and must take appropriate precautions to prevent property damage or injury.
  • Responsibility for waste: Cleaning up after the animal is the sole responsibility of the handler. In the event that the handler is not physically able to clean up after the animal, it is handler’s responsibility to hire someone to clean up after the animal.
  • Vaccination: Animals must be immunized against diseases common to that type of animal. All vaccinations must be current, and the animal must wear a rabies vaccination tag.
  • Observing good service animal etiquette: To the extent possible, the handler should ensure that the animal does not display behaviors or make noises that are disruptive or frightening to others unless these behaviors are part of the service being provided.

What about allergies or being afraid of dogs?

These concerns will be considered on a case-by-case basis by Student Accessibility and Testing or the ADA Coordinator. Students requesting accommodations related to the presence of a service dog should contact Student Accessibility and Testing. Faculty or staff requesting accommodations should contact the ADA Coordinator.

When can a service animal be removed from campus facilities?

A person with a disability may be asked to remove a service animal from campus facilities in the following situations.

  • The dog is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it. For example, if a dog displays uncontrolled barking that the handler is not able to control, you may inform the handler that the dog needs to be removed from the room.
  • The dog is not housebroken. The handler is responsible for cleaning up after the animal as outlined in the handler responsibilities. You may inform the handler that a dog that is not housebroken needs to be removed from the room.

When an animal has been removed, the individual must be permitted to return and continue to participate in the class or activity without the animal’s assistance if the individual chooses.

Please consult with Student Accessibility and Testing for students or the ADA Coordinator for faculty and staff when an animal has been removed and/or for long-term action plans concerning service animals.

What are some basic etiquette tips for interacting with handlers and service dogs?

  • Don’t touch, talk to, feed, or otherwise distract a service dog while it is working.
  • Speak to the person not the dog.
  • Don’t try to get the dog’s attention or call the dog’s name.
  • Don’t ask questions about the individuals’ disability and why they need a service dog.

Please contact Student Accessibility and Testing or the ADA Coordinator for additional information related to service animals at or 573-341-4222.

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On March 18, 2024. Posted in Other