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Animal Guidelines


Shepherd University is dedicated to making reasonable accommodations to afford students with disabilities equal opportunity to use and enjoy University housing. The Emotional Support Animal Policy and Service Animal Policy Forms provide guidelines for Shepherd University students who maintain assistance animals in Shepherd University-managed residence facilities. If there are questions concerning these guidelines, you may reach the Office of Accessibility Services at 304-876-5122 or the Office of Residence Life at 304-876-5172.

Below are Shepherd University’s policies and guidelines for Assistance Animals:

Please see the Emotional Support Animal Guidelines for more information on ESA’s. Included in these guidelines is a checklist on how to obtain an ESA, which includes:

Please see the Service Animal Policy for more information on service animals.

Proper documentation for the Assistance Animal includes veterinary information.

Note: Established Accessibility Services and Residence Life housing procedures and deadlines are still relevant to students who keep assistance animals in their University residence. This includes, but is not limited to: availability of rooms, room assignments, and fees.

Important Definitions:

Removal of Animals:

Grounds for removal of animals may include but are not limited to:

The Director of Residence Life, or designee, shall determine whether there are grounds to remove an Assistance Animal from a Shepherd University-managed residence facility. If a decision is made that an animal poses an immediate threat to others, the animal must be removed immediately. An appeal can be pursued in accordance with the complaint process through the Accessibility Services office. In a situation where the animal is immediately removed, the animal shall remain removed until the appeal is considered. Under other circumstances, the handler shall be given written notice to remove the animal within 24 hours.  While Shepherd University may make the determination that a given animal is to be removed, this does not affect the student’s housing/dining obligations, nor the student’s ability to continue in housing with an equivalent, suitable assistance animal supported by the documentation on file.

Conflicting Disabilities

At Shepherd University we are committed to meeting the needs of all individuals and will review and resolve issues with conflicting disabilities.

Students that may have allergic reactions or phobias to animals severe enough to be considered disabilities should contact the Office of Accessibility Services at 304.876.5122 to request accommodations. Students choosing to disclose an allergy or a phobia on their housing application form will be given consideration and every effort made to lessen any exposure to the animal.