Animal Assistance

Animals On Campus

The University of Scranton recognizes the importance of service animals, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) and the broader category of “Assistance Animals” under the Fair Housing Act that provides physical and/or emotional support to individuals with disabilities.

This definition does not affect or limit the broader definition of “Assistance Animal” under the Fair Housing Act or the broader definition of “Service Animal” under the Air Carrier Access Act.

Click here to access the University of Scranton Pet Policy from the Student Handbook

Service Animals

"Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

Some State and local laws also define Service Animal more broadly than the ADA does. Information about such laws can be obtained from the State attorney general’s office."  

Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section at


ADA Service Animal Handout

PA Support Animal Facts


Students who utilize Service Animals do not need to disclose disability related documentation or request permission for the animal on campus, as they have the right to bring Service Animals into any public establishment.


Assistance Animals

Assistance Animals, at the University of Scranton, include Emotional Support Animals as well as Therapy Animals. Assistance Animals are a category of animals that may work, provide assistance, or perform physical tasks for an individual with a disability and/or provide necessary emotional support to an individual with a mental or psychiatric disability. These Assistance Animals do not meet the same criteria as a Service Animal. Their primary role is to provide comfort to a person. These animals are prescribed for a person with a disability by a healthcare provider because they alleviate one or more identified symptoms or effects of the person’s disability.


Assistance Animals are considered nonacademic accommodations that should be requested. This policy applies solely to Assistance Animals and does not apply to Service Animals.


How to request accommodations for an Assistance Animal


1. Students with disabilities who wish to request a reasonable modification to the University’s pet policies, procedures, or practices should complete the Request for Assistance Animal Accommodation form.  Download the form, fill out the student section, save the form and forward it to your medical provider. The medical provider can email the completed form to or return the form to you so you can upload it to the Accommodate system. If the medical provider submits the form via email, the form will be uploaded to your account in Accommodate by an Office of Equity and Diversity staff member.  If you receive the form from your medical professional, you must access Accommodate and upload the form yourself.

  • Documentation should be current and consist of an evaluation by an appropriate physician or health care provider that describes the current functional impact of the condition or disability as it relates to the Assistance Animal accommodation requested.
  • The physician/health care provider cannot be a family member.
  • The University of Scranton reserves the right to request additional documentation if the information does not address the student’s current level of functioning, or substantiate the need for modifications or accommodations.


2.The ADA Committee will review the information received from your health care provider and decide to grant or deny the accommodation. If your Assistance Animal accommodation request is approved by the ADA Committee, you will be notified by email of their decision.

3. The University will engage in an individualized, interactive process with a student, prior to making a determination on the request. At this time you will be given instructions on how to contact Residence Life to learn your responsibilities and University policy surrounding Assistance Animals.

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