Emotional Support Animal Procedures

Emmanuel College is committed to granting reasonable accommodations when such accommodations may be necessary to afford people with disabilities an equal opportunity to use their residence.

Emotional Support Animal (ESA)

  • An indoor-appropriate animal that is necessary to afford a person with an identified disability equal opportunity to use their college housing
  • ESAs may provide psychological, mental, or emotional support to a student o   ESAs do NOT perform work or tasks that would qualify them as a "Service Animals" under ADA.
  • Pets are NOT allowed in Emmanuel College campus buildings or housing facilities
    • However, in appropriate cases, Emmanuel will make partial exception to the "no pets rule" in the student's residence only as a reasonable accommodation
      • This exception to "no pets rule" can occur for appropriate cases when:
      • A student with a documented disability, who meets the eligibility criteria, submits required documentation to Disability Services 
  • If this reasonable accommodation is granted, the student will be required to strictly follow the rules pertaining to animal control and student responsibility, noted within the Owner's Responsibilities Contract.

Animal Exclusions

  • Certain animals will be excluded from the ESA accommodations and will be referred to as "excluded animals"
    • Excluded animals include:
      • Animals that are inherently dangerous or predatory (Snakes, pythons, birds, etc.)
      • Large animals over 30 lbs.
      • Wildlife or endangered species (ferrets, etc.)
  • Emmanuel College may exclude an ESA from campus housing if:
  • The animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others
    • The animal would cause substantial physical damage to property
    • The animal would pose an undue financial and administrative burden on the college
    • The animal would result in a fundamental alteration of the college's program(s); and/or
    • The student does not comply with the guidelines set forth in the Owner's Responsibilities Contract.


  • In order to be eligible to request an ESA as a housing accommodation, a student must demonstrate the following:
    • The student has a documented disability
    • The exception to the "no pets rule" is a reasonable accommodation necessary for equal opportunity to use and enjoy Emmanuel housing
    • There is an identifiable relationship between the accommodation and student's documented disability
    • The ESA is not an excluded animal

Application of the ESA Policy

  • In applying the above eligibility criteria, Emmanuel will be guided by the following "interpretive principles, rules and factors":
    • The student will have the burden of demonstrating through documented Health Care Provider (HCP) opinion, testimony, and other evidence, that the student would not have been able to use and enjoy Emmanuel housing facilities "but for" the requested accommodation (having the ESA in the dorm room)
    • The student will have the burden of demonstrating through HCP opinion, testimony, and other evidence, that the animal is both necessary and reasonable for equal enjoyment and use of Emmanuel housing
    • The student must demonstrate that NO other means and methods (i.e. medication, counseling, other housing accommodations, other available interventions, crisis response mechanisms, or treatments) or combination of means and methods are available to adequately manage symptoms of his/her disability
      • If means and methods are available to the student to adequately manage symptoms of his/her disability, to a degree that the student with the aid of those other means and methods would be able to use and enjoy Emmanuel housing, then this accommodation would not be granted
  • Note: These eligibility criteria are based primarily on the relevant provisions of the Fair Housing Act (FHA), 42 U.S.C. 3604(f), and regulatory guidance provided by the US Department of Housing and Development in its Final Rule entitled "Pet Ownership for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities" published in the Federal register on October 27, 2008 (73 FR 63834).


  • If you believe you meet the criteria to request an ESA as a housing accommodation, please contact Noelle Galli, Accommodations Coordinator in Disability Support Services (gallin@emmanuel.edu) as early as possible BEFORE the room assignment process begins

Steps in the Process of Requesting an ESA

  1. Contact Noelle Galli, Accommodations Coordinator in Disability Support Services at gallin@emmanuel.edu to express your interest in requesting this specific accommodation
  2. Follow the standard procedure for requesting housing accommodations:
    • Be currently registered with Disability Support Services (DSS)
      • If NOT currently registered:
        • Complete a Self-Disclosure Form and return it to Noelle Galli, Accommodations Coordinator, via email, mail, fax, or delivered in person
        • Submit appropriate documentation (i.e. psycho-educational, psychological, neurological, neuro-psychological, medical, or similar reports)
        • Schedule an Intake Meeting with Noelle Galli
  3. Please complete the Animal Information Form, which, if approved, will later serve as registration information and that demonstrates veterinary evidence of proper vaccinations and reasonable health
  4. After the submission of the completed forms listed above, DSS will provide a second request form to be filled out by a Health Care Provider for more specific information regarding the support animal
  5. Once steps 1-4 are completed, the Housing Committee will review your request and determine whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant the ESA as a reasonable housing accommodation.
    • You will be informed by Residence Life of the committee's decision
  6. Upon assignment, you are expected to comply with all Residence Life requirements and behavior code policies regarding noise, cleanliness, and conduct. Students are solely responsible for their animal's behavior.
    • You will be required to sign the Owner's Responsibilities Contract
    • You will be responsible for discussing the ESA living arrangements with your roommate(s) and upon agreement, the roommate(s) will sign the Roommate ESA Acknowledgement Form
    • Finally, you will meet with Residence Life staff to review overall expectations and answer any questions you may have

Student Responsibility Policy for ESAs in Emmanuel Housing Facilities:

  • The approved ESA is allowed to reside with the student in their residence hall and is allowed to be taken outdoors anywhere on campus grounds where students are allowed to go
  • The ESA is NOT allowed in any academic buildings, administrative buildings, athletic facilities, or laboratory settings
  • Emmanuel is NOT responsible for the care or supervision of the ESA
  • The student is responsible for the cost, care, and supervision of the ESA, including:
    • Compliance with laws pertaining to animal licensing, vaccination, and owner identification
    • Keeping the animal under control and taking effective action when it is out of control
    • Feeding, walking, and disposing of waste
      • Waste disposal via Emmanuel plumbing or indoor trash containers is prohibited
      • Waste must be picked up, bagged, and placed in an outdoor trash container
  • The student will be charged for damage caused by an ESA to the same extent that a student would normally be charged for damage caused to Emmanuel property
  • The student must comply with all college rules regarding noise, safety, disruption, and cleanliness
  • In all cases, the student will agree to hold harmless Emmanuel College for any damage or injury to others caused by ESA
  • If necessary, the removal of any ESA with any necessary cleaning, repairs, and/or pest control will be done at the expense of the student 
  • The student will be permitted to have no more than ONE animal due to the confined residential living space
  • The ESA must be housebroken (i.e. trained so that it controls waste elimination, absent illness or accident)
  • The ESA must be kept under control by a leash, harness, cage, or other tether when leaving dorm room
  • The above policies will be strictly enforced; violations are subject to the Emmanuel College Student Conduct process

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