Service Animal Policy

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Sec. 36.302 © (1), requires that a public accommodation modify its policies, practices and procedures to permit the use of a Service Animal by an individual with a disability in any area open to the general public. (Corresponding Pennsylvania laws would also apply when discussing the oversight authority.)

The Americans with Disabilities Act and the U.S. Department of Justice have established guidelines for inquiries about the use of a service animal in cases where the animal’s purpose is not readily apparent. Two questions may be asked to determine whether an animal qualifies as a service animal:

  1. Is the dog required because of a disability?
  2. What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?

Muhlenberg College recognizes that Service Animals can play an important role in facilitating the independence of individuals with certain types of disabilities. Allowing individuals with disabilities to be accompanied by their appropriately trained Service Animal in campus facilities where animals are typically prohibited, is a reasonable modification of general Muhlenberg policies and practices concerning animals on campus. The health and safety of Muhlenberg College students, faculty, staff, as well as, the service animal are important. The health and safety of Muhlenberg College students, faculty, staff, as well as the Service Animal is important, therefore, only Service Animals that meet the criteria described in this policy will be exempt from the rules that otherwise restrict or prohibit animals.

In compliance with applicable laws, Muhlenberg College allows service animals in its academic and non-academic buildings, classrooms, residence halls, meeting areas, dining areas, recreational facilities, and at all campus activities and events, when the animal is accompanied by an individual with a disability who indicates the service animal is trained to provide a specific service to them that is directly related to their disability.

Generally speaking, the Muhlenberg College staff and faculty may not make any inquires regarding the presence of a Service Animal when it is readily apparent that the dog is trained to do work or perform a task for an individual with a disability.

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