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Service and Support Animals in the Workplace

Approval for Shepherd University employees to bring a service animal or support animal to the workplace must be obtained from the Human Resources Office through an Americans with Disabilities (ADA) accommodation request.  Supporting medical documentation must be provided by a licensed healthcare provider who personally has seen the employee who is requesting to bring a service or support animal to work.

In cases when HR approval has been given for an employee to bring a service animal or support animal to the workplace by an employee, the employee has the following responsibilities:

  1. The care and supervision of the animal.
  2. Keeping the animal under direct control at all times, such as by a harness, leash, or other tether unless they interfere with the animal’s safe, effective performance of work or service tasks, in which case the animal must be under the employee’s control through voice control, signals or other effective means.
  3. Ensuring that the animal does not disturb or disrupt normal academic or administrative functions.  Barking of a dog which is part of the trained service-provision to the owner is not a violation of this requirement.  If the dog or other animal is startled by a noise or a person’s actions and makes a brief noise (i.e., isolated bark) that is not a violation of this requirement.
  4. The animal must be healthy and clean, current on all appropriate/ required vaccinations, and “house-trained” to avoid waste occurring in inappropriate locations.
  5. If the animal uses some form of “puppy pad” for waste, the employee must properly and hygienically manage prompt clean-up, including disposal in a waste can which restricts odor.
  6. Complying with any relevant city, county, and/or state license and leash laws while the animal is on University premises.
  7. The employee is responsible for any damage to personal or institutional property caused by the animal to the same degree that the employee would be responsible for damage caused by the employee’s own conduct.

A service or support animal may be disallowed from continued use, at the direction of Human Resources, under the following circumstances:

  1. If the conduct of the animal demonstrates that it is a direct threat to persons.
  2. Disruptive and inappropriate noise.
  3. Inappropriate noise which frequently and disruptively permeates a private office.
  4. If the employee works in an open space and noise is inconsistent with the open space, disallowance may result if no reasonable alternative solution can be achieved.
  5. Failure to properly manage animal waste. If an animal is taken outside onto campus grounds, the animal must not be permitted to urinate on flowers, on small bushes, or at any non-grassy area.  Fecal waste must be removed by the employee promptly to a waste can.
  6. Any other violations of the above requirements.