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Assistance Animals Impact

Assistance Animals

An Assistance Animal is an animal that does work, performs tasks, assists, and/or provides therapeutic emotional support for individuals with disabilities. Assistance Animals include both Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals (ESA). Assistance animals are not pets.

Fairmont State University is committed to making reasonable accommodations to afford students with disabilities an equal opportunity to access housing and any associated amenities, including granting reasonable accommodations for Emotional Support Animals. A disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

Once a student has been approved for an ESA, they are then considered to be an owner.

To be approved for an ESA and become an owner, a student must complete the following:

  • Submit the Registration Form (including supporting documentation)
    • If you are already registered with the Office of Accessibility Services, you will need to complete a Supplemental Accommodation Request (See Accommodate for Students)
  • Submit supporting documentation
  • Review the Assistance Animal Policy and Agreement
  • Submit the necessary animal paperwork
    • A picture of the animal
    • Proof of rabies vaccine if the animal is a cat or dog
    • Proof of flea medicine if the animal is a cat or dog
    • Proof of spay/neuter if the animal is a cat or dog
  • The Housing Committee will meet biweekly to review requests.
    • The owner will be notified whether or not their accommodation request has been approved
  • If the request for an ESA is approved, the student will meet with the Accessibility Coordinator to review the Assistance Animal Policy and Agreement. Housing will also need to check with any roommates to ensure there are no issues, such as allergies.

After all steps are completed, Housing will give final approval to bring the ESA. Only then will the owner be permitted to bring their ESA to campus.

Please Note: There are individuals and organizations that sell emotional support animal and/or service animal certification/registration documents online. These documents are not reliable for purposes of determining whether an individual has a disability or disability related need for an ESA because the website operators and health care professionals who consult with them lack the personal knowledge that is necessary to make such determinations. These documents do not convey any rights under the ADA, and the Department of Justice does not recognize them as proof of an emotional support animal or service animal. There are no official registries or certifications.

If there are questions concerning these guidelines, you may contact the Office of Accessibility Services.