Service and Support Animal Procedures
These Procedures address animals utilized for disability accommodation services, as well as their partners, as identified in the UC Santa Cruz Service/Support Animal Policy (Policy BAS-001).
II. Procedure Details
Individuals with disabilities, including visitors, who utilize a service animal on campus grounds are encouraged to register the animal with Santa Cruz County Animal Services. (Note: support animals must receive prior approval before being brought onto campus; see section below on support animals.)
Students are also strongly encouraged to affiliate with the Disability Resource Center. Staff and faculty must contact the Disability Management Coordinator in the Staff Human Resources Benefits Office before bringing their animal to their workplace.
Service Animals in University Housing
Service animals may not reside in University Housing without prior notification and registration. Incoming residents must register their service animals with the Disability Resource Center, in addition to filing their initial housing application. Existing residents must submit registration information at least four weeks prior to the date the animal is expected to be in residence.
To register a service animal with University Housing, contact the appropriate office: Students submit appropriate documentation to the Disability Resource Center (DRC). Faculty/Staff who reside in university-owned housing as a condition of employment should submit registration information to the Disability Management Coordinator (DMC) in the Staff Human Resources Benefits Office. In all other cases, individuals should submit registration information to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Colleges, Housing and Educational Services.
Registration information must include a letter from the prospective resident describing the specific task(s) or work the animal has been trained to perform to assist the prospective resident with a disability, a description of the animal (e.g. weight, breed, etc.), whether the animal is housebroken, and the animal’s name. Insufficient registration information may result in accommodation delays or denial.
If the function performed by the animal does not constitute a task or work, the animal will be treated as a support animal, subject to the requirements of the Support Animals section below.
DRC or DMC staff will review the documentation and send a recommendation to University Housing. Housing staff will then meet with the student or employee to review and sign the Guidelines and Agreement: Service or Support Animal in University Housing. Once this has been completed, the requesting individual must:
- Follow all sections of the UC Santa Cruz Service Animal Policy
- Register the animal with Santa Cruz County Animal Services (if not already registered)
Service Animals in the Workplace
Staff and faculty must contact the Disability Management Coordinator (DMC) prior to bringing the animal to the worksite. The DMC will determine whether the animal in question is a service animal, and, if so, will review the Guidelines and Agreement: Service or Support Animal in University Employment with the partner. Once that document has been signed by both the partner and the DMC, the DMC will provide an authorization letter to the employee. It is the responsibility of the employee to bring that letter to their direct supervisor before bringing the animal to work.
Support animals, as defined in the UC Santa Cruz Service/Support Animal Policy, may be permitted on the UC Santa Cruz campus on a case-by-case basis. Before bringing a support animal onto campus grounds, the requesting individual must submit a request and appropriate supporting documentation. Requests for a support animal will be evaluated by the appropriate office (see below).
Requesting Permission for a Support Animal
- Contact the appropriate office: Students and overnight visitors contact the Disability Resource Center. Staff and faculty contact the Disability Management Coordinator in the Staff Human Resources Benefits Office. Documentation required must include:
- A letter from the prospective resident explaining the need for the animal, the type of animal, a description of the animal, the animal’s name, whether the animal is housebroken, the date[s] of the medical diagnosis and prescription for such an animal, the date when the animal was acquired.
- Medical documentation from a qualified medical professional, including
- the nature of the applicant’s disability;
- how the animal is necessary to provide the person with a disability access to UCSC's housing program; and
- the relationship between the disability and the assistance the animal provides.
Documentation guidelines for students are available on the DRC web site (http://drc.ucsc.edu). It is strongly advised that the prospective resident give a copy of the relevant medical documentation guidelines to his/her treating clinician. Insufficient documentation may result in accommodation delays or denial.
- Specify areas of campus where support animal is needed:
- Housing: Requests for support animals in University Housing will follow the same procedure outlined in the Service Animals in University Housing section of this document. Permission to have a support animal in University Housing does not extend to other campus facilities or campus grounds at large.
- Employment: Specify if the support animal is needed in a campus residential building due to a condition of employment, in a non-residential campus building, or on the campus grounds at large. If the animal is needed outside the workplace, please explain.
- The DRC or Disability Management Coordinator will notify the requesting individual in writing of the decision within ten business days of the date the required documentation is received. If the request to have a support animal on campus is approved, the partner is expected to abide by all sections of the UC Santa Cruz Service/Support Animal Policy. Employees must provide a copy of the decision letter to their direct supervisor prior to bringing the support animal to the workplace.
Responsibilities of Animal Partners
Partners are responsible for any damage caused by their animals and must take appropriate precautions to prevent property damage or injury. The care, supervision and well-being of a service/support animal are the sole responsibility of the partner at all times. Partners of service/support animals on campus must:
- Take responsibility for meeting legal requirements: All requirements for the presence of animals in public places (vaccinations, licensure, ID tags, etc) mandated by State or local ordinances must be followed, including but not limited to:
- A valid County dog license, updated yearly.
- If the animal is intact (not spayed or neutered), an Animal Services Unaltered Animal Certificate, updated yearly.
- Ensure animals are under control: The partner must be in full control of the animal at all times. Reasonable behavior is expected from service/support animals. If an animal exhibits unacceptable behavior, the partner must take effective action to correct the situation.
- Adhere to cleanup rules: The partner must follow local clean up ordinances when the animal defecates. Individuals with disabilities who physically cannot clean up after their own service animal may not be required to pick up and dispose of feces.
Removal/Relocation of Service/Support Animals
An animal may be removed from any campus facility for the following reasons:
- Out-of-control Behavior: A partner may be directed to remove an animal that is unruly or disruptive (e.g. barking excessively, running around, bringing attention to itself, jumping up on people, exhibiting aggressive behavior) if the partner is unable or unwilling to take effective action to control the animal. Repeated instances of such behavior may result in exclusion from University facilities until the partner can demonstrate that s/he can effectively control the animal.
- Not Housebroken: Animals must be housebroken. Partners must also ensure that their animals are kept clean and well-groomed. Animals that are excessively unclean (e.g., repeated soiling of facilities, flea-infested, foul-smelling and/or shedding excessively) may be excluded from University facilities.
Although animals will sometimes become ill unexpectedly, the University recommends that animals that are sick should not be brought into University facilities.
If a service animal is properly excluded from the premises, the partner will be offered the opportunity to participate in the service, program or activity without the service animal.
Conflicts between service animals and others’ severe allergies, phobias, etc. will be addressed on a case-by-case basis (e.g., relocation to another University housing facility or an alternate office location).
Complaints About Service/Support Animal Behavior
Complaints about a service or support animal’s behavior should be directed to the Associate Vice Chancellor of Risk and Safety Services. In an emergency situation, call 911.
VI. Related Policies/References for More Information
Related Policies and Procedures
- UC Santa Cruz Service/Support Animal Policy (BAS-001)
- UC Policy SPS0005: UCSC Non-Research Animals on Campus Policy
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- California Fair Employment and Housing Act (CalFEHA)
- Santa Cruz City Municipal code, Title 8, Animals
- Santa Cruz County Code, Vol. 1, Title 6, Animals
- Guidelines and Agreement: Service or Support Animals in University Housing
- Guidelines and Agreement: Service or Support Animals in Employment
- Guidelines and Agreement: Service Animals for Commuting Students (non-Housing, non-Employment settings)