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Residence Hall Service Animal Policy

Policy Information

Issuing Office

Student Affairs

Affected Parties

Students with disabilities who use service animals and live in the residence halls

Policy Language

Any student requiring a service animal within an on-campus housing assignment must notify the Office of Student Housing at least thirty (30) days prior to the semester that prospective housing is needed.

The service animal must be properly trained.  The student may be asked to provide verification that the animal has been individually trained as a service animal.

The care and supervision of the service animal is at all times the responsibility of the student.  Grooming and upkeep of the service animal cannot take place within the residence halls or on-campus grounds.

The student must be in full control of the animal at all times.  If the student checks out and/or leaves the residence hall at any time, the service animal may not remain in the building.  (If the student leaves the room but remains on-campus, the service animal may remain secured in the student’s room, but for no more than two hours.)

The student must keep the service animal on a leash/lead at all times when the animal is “working”.  The student must abide with City of Lynchburg leash law when animal is “not working.”

The student is responsible for cleaning up all animal waste and disposing of that waste in outdoor dumpsters.  Animal waste is not to be disposed of indoors.  

The student must ensure that the service animal has been immunized against diseases and treated for pests, such as fleas and ticks, common to that type of animal.  Service animals must have current vaccination against rabies.  Service animals must wear a valid rabies vaccination tag and be properly licensed.  The student will provide the Office of Student Housing with appropriate documentation confirming vaccinations, licenses, and pest treatments.

All service animals must be in good health.  The student must provide an annual clean bill of health from a licensed veterinarian to the Office of Student Housing.

The University has the authority to temporarily or permanently exclude a service animal from its grounds or facilities if the animal’s behavior is unruly or disruptive, in ill health, or habitually unclean.  The University has adopted a “one-bite” policy which requires a service animal to be removed from university property after a single occurrence of unprovoked biting or other aggressive behavior.  The decision to exclude a service animal from the University will be made by the approved personnel or by the Office of Student Housing if the service animal is deemed an immediate threat to the health and safety of others after hearing information from all parties involved if the situation is not an emergency.

Any and all liability for the actions of the service animal is the responsibility of the student, including but not limited to damage involving personal or private property of the University or others.

Policy Rationale

The University and the Office of Student Housing recognizes that students with disabilities may require the assistance of a service animal. These guidelines were established in order to regulate service animals used by students with disabilities living in the residence halls.

Definition of Glossary Terms

None specified

Procedural Information


The Service Animal Policy is available online. Students who require the assistance of a service animal and will be living in the residence halls are directed to review and agree to by signing the policy. The policy is then submitted to the Office of Disability Academic Support and the Office of Student Housing.


Students who violate the policy will either temporarily or permanently lose the right to house a service animal in the residence halls.



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