Service Animals

Service animals are animals trained to assist people with disabilities in the activities of daily living. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 defines a service animal as “any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items.”

The ADA allows service animals accompanying persons with disabilities to be on the UCCS campus. A service animal must be permitted to accompany a person with a disability everywhere on campus except where the service animal may interfere with the fundamental nature of the activities being conducted or where safety may be compromised. The courts have upheld the rights of service animal owners to take service animals into food service locations.

A service dog can be any breed or size. It might wear specialized equipment such as a backpack, harness, special collar or leash, but this is not a legal requirement. Service dogs must be on a leash at all times when outside of a residential room.

To be qualified to utilize a service animal for ongoing accommodation on the UCCS campus, the owner must register with Disability Services and supply appropriate documentation of a disability. The owner must also register the service animal with Disability Services. Local ordinances regarding animals apply to service animals, including requirements for immunization, licensing, noise, restraint, at-large animals, and dangerous animals. Dogs must wear a license tag and a current rabies vaccination tag.

The owner must be in full control of the service animal at all times. The care and supervision of a service animal is solely the responsibility of its owner. The animal must be maintained and used at all times in ways that do not create safety hazards for other people.

Faculty, staff and students should know the following about service animals:

  • Allow a service animal to accompany the owner at all times and everywhere on campus.
  • Do not pet a service animal without first asking permission; touching the animal might distract it from its work.
  • Speak first to the owner of the service animal.
  • Do not deliberately startle a service animal.
  • Do not feed a service animal
  • Do not separate or attempt to separate an owner from his or her service animal.
  • In case of an emergency, every effort should be made to keep the service animal with its owner. However, the first effort should be toward the owner; this may necessitate leaving an animal behind in certain emergency situations.

Service animals may be asked to leave the UCCS campus under circumstances that may include the following:

  • The animal is disruptive or exhibits aggressive or fearful behavior.
  • The animal is destructive
  • The animal is ill. Service animals that are ill should not be taken into public areas.

The animal is not clean. However, an animal that becomes wet from weather or weather-related incidents, but is otherwise clean, should be considered a clean animal.