Animals and pets are not allowed in any academic building on campus. The exception is a guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. For health and safety reasons no animals or pets of any kind, with the exception of tropical fish, are permitted in the residence halls. No other aquatic creatures or pets are permitted. All aquariums must be on a stand or base to reduce the danger of breakage. Aquariums should not exceed 10 gallons.
The ADA defines service animals 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 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, regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government.
Service animals are permitted to accompany the individual to all areas of campus where members of the public are permitted except where prohibited because of health, environmental, or safety hazards (e.g., certain labs, mechanical rooms, areas where protective clothing is necessary, or areas where there is a danger to the animal).
Registration of a Service Animal
Individuals with disabilities who are seeking to use a service animal are encouraged to notify Accessibility Services. The handler will be asked to complete a voluntary Service Animal Registration Form. Completed forms shall be kept by Accessibility Services, separate from all other records held by NHTI. If the animal qualifies as a service animal, the handler must comply with this policy at all times while the animal is on NHTI property.
Interacting with a Service Animal
If it is not obvious what service the animal provides, it is not permissible to ask about the person’s disability or request documentation or a demonstration of the work the animal performs. Permissible inquiries are limited to:
- Is the animal a service animal?
- What work or task is the dog trained to perform?
Members of the campus community shall avoid petting, feeding, or distracting the animal.
Service Animal Documentation
To assist the campus community, the service animal should wear a harness or other gear that identifies it as a working animal. The service animal must have an owner identification tag, and current license and tags from local authorities. Service animals must be properly immunized and vaccinated.
Care and Control of the Service Animal
- The handler is financially responsible for any damage the service animal causes including bodily injury and property damage beyond reasonable wear and tear.
- Service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices.In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls at all times.
- The service animal must be housebroken. The handler is responsible for all clean up and waste disposal. Animal waste must be immediately picked up by the owner, placed in a plastic bag, securely tied, and disposed of in an outside trash dumpster.
- The school is not responsible for any harm to a service animal while on campus, including but not limited to injury to the animal caused by pest management or lawn care products.
Exclusion of a Service Animal from NHTI Property
The animal may not be allowed on campus, regardless of training or certification, if:
- The animal’s behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.
- The animal exhibits behavior that interferes with the educational process.
- The animal behaves in an unacceptable way, and the handler does not control the animal.
- The animal is not housebroken, licensed, or properly vaccinated.
If the animal is excluded from the property, NHTI shall still afford the individual with a disability the opportunity to participate in its programs or activity without having the service animal on the premises.
Emotional Support Animals
NHTI is committed to maintaining a residential life program that is designed to provide a safe and comfortable environment where students may live, grow, and study within a community of peers. In accordance with state and federal law, students living in the residence halls for whom a physician, psychologist, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or licensed social worker (licensed professional) has determined that an animal is necessary to mitigate the effects of a physical or mental disability are eligible to have an emotional support animal (ESA) in compliance with this policy.
- Students that are requesting an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) will submit:
- An ESA Application, including documentation from a licensed professional that identifies the support that the animal provides in the context of the student’s disability
- A Veterinarian Verification Form with documentation for the animal
- A signed copy of the ESA Policy
Students are not allowed to have an ESA on campus until their request for an ESA is approved.
- Once all paperwork is submitted, Accessibility Services will determine if the ESA is permitted in the residence hall on a case-by-case basis. Approval is for the current academic year with Summer semester requires
additional approval. Updated documentation will need to be submitted each academic year. Prior approval does not guarantee future approval.
- Students will only be approved for one animal. The approval for an ESA is animal-specific. If the student wishes to replace the ESA, new documentation must be submitted.
Guidelines for ESAs
Students who are requesting the use of an ESA may be permitted to bring the animal onto campus as long as they comply with NHTI Accessibility Services ESA Policy.
Student Owner Responsibilities for ESA
- The student must ensure that the ESA does not interfere with activities of other residents. The behavior, noise, odor, and waste of an ESA must not exceed reasonable standards and must not create a disruption for other
residents and Residential Life staff. Disruptive behavior includes but is not limited to barking, howling, and crying. A nuisance is defined as but not limited to excessive noise, physical harm to humans or other animals, threatening behavior, foul odors, and destruction of property.
- The student is responsible for all clean up and waste disposal. The ESA must be housebroken or litter box-trained. Animal waste must be immediately picked up by the student owner, placed in a plastic bag, securely tied, and disposed of in an outside trash dumpster. Regular and routine cleaning of floors, cages, and litter boxes is required. The odor of an ESA may not emanate from the student owner’s room.
- Dangerous, poisonous, and illegal animals are not permitted.
- The ESA is to be restricted to the student’s room at all times unless they are transported off campus, at which time the ESA must be on a leash or kept in an animal carrier. ESAs may not be taken into bathrooms, laundry facilities, indoor recreational rooms, lounges, hallways, computer labs, study rooms, or other areas of the residential facility. It cannot be taken into classrooms, dining halls, or other buildings on campus. It is not allowed to roam freely on campus grounds.
- The ESA may not be left alone overnight or in the care of another student. If the student is to be absent overnight, the ESA must accompany the student.
- The student is to ensure the ESA is appropriately contained when the student is not present while attending classes or activities.
- The ESA must be immunized against diseases common to that type of animal. Dogs and cats must have a current vaccination against rabies and wear a rabies tag. Vaccine records are to be provided to Accessibility Services prior to the ESA being allowed into the residence hall. Local licensing requirements must be followed for dogs.
- The student is responsible for the cost of ESA health care. All animals must be verified to be in good health. An ESA in poor health is not allowed in campus housing until the situation is remedied and updated health records are received. NHTI has the authority to direct that the ESA receive veterinary attention and request proof of good health.
- Cats and dogs must be spayed or neutered prior to being brought to campus.
- The student is financially responsible for any damage the ESA causes including bodily injury and property damage beyond reasonable wear and tear.
- The student is to provide emergency contact information for an individual should the student be unable to care for the ESA at any time. A current NHTI student or NHTI personnel cannot be the emergency contact.
- The ESA must wear a collar and identification tag at all times.
- The ESA must be well-groomed. Residence hall facilities are not to be used for bathing or grooming the ESA.
- The student is to keep the food for the ESA in a sealed container in their residence.
- The student is to notify Accessibility Services when the ESA is no longer needed or no longer in residence on campus.
- The Residence Life staff will inspect residential facilities on a regular basis as a part of routine health and safety checks. If fleas, ticks, or other pests are detected, residence halls will be treated using NHTI-approved pest control services. The costs associated with this service will be billed to the student owner.
Removal of an ESA
NHTI may require the student remove the ESA from campus if:
- The ESA is not litter box-trained or housebroken.
- The ESA is out of control or threatening, and the student does not take effective action to control it.
- The ESA is a threat to the safety or health of others with tings such as aggressive behavior or potential transmission of zoonotic diseases.
- The ESA causes substantial damage to the property of others.
- There is evidence that the ESA is neglected or abused.
- The student does not comply with the responsibilities listed in the NHTI Emotional Support Animal Policy.