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Disability Services

MSU Service Animal Policy


  1. Policy Statement
    It is the policy of Minot State University that service animals assisting persons with disabilities are generally allowed in all facilities and programs on the campus, except as described in Section III.
  2. Definition
    "Service animal" is defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as:

      "...any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.

      Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler's disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors.

      The crime deterrent effects of a dog's presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition." "Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations and in Commercial Facilities, Final Rule." Federal Register 75 (15 September 2010): 56250. Print
    If a dog meets this definition, it is considered a service animal regardless of whether it has been licensed or certified by a state or local government or a training program. (See Appendix A for additional requirements of service animals and their handlers.)
  3. When a service dog may be asked to leave or is prohibited in a MSU facility or program
    A service dog may be asked to leave a MSU facility or program if the animal's behavior or presence poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others. For example, a service dog that displays vicious behavior may be excluded or a dog that causes a person to have an allergic reaction would be removed or located away from the individual.

    Service dogs may also be excluded in areas where their presence alters the nature of a program or activity or is disruptive. Examples may include, but are not limited to, research labs, areas requiring protective clothing, food preparation areas, and animal labs.
  4. Animals not considered "service animals" under the ADA
    • Pets, companions, comfort or protection animals are not service dogs and are therefore not permitted in University facilities.
    • Therapy animals do not assist people with disabilities in activities of daily living or accompany them at all times and are therefore not considered "service animals."
  5. How to determine if a dog is a "service animal"
    The service dog is always with the partner. It is often possible to discern that the animal is a service dog from the partner's disability. However, some disabilities are not visible. You may have to rely on the verbal statement of the partner/handler.

    Persons with service dogs may be asked to answer the following questions in order to establish that their dogs are service animals protected under the law:
    1. Do you have a disability for which this dog provides a service?
    2. What tasks of daily living does this dog perform?
  6. Students
    Students must notify the Housing Office, 701-858-3363 of the service dog before moving in, so that any extenuating circumstances can be considered when assigning housing space.
  7. Employees
    Employees must notify the Human Resource Office, 701-858-4610, of their intent to use a service dog at work before bringing the dog to the job.
  8. Visitors
    Service dogs accompanying persons with disabilities are welcome in all areas of the campus that are open to the public, except in situations that are determined to apply under Section III. Questions should be directed to the Disability Service Office 701-858-3371.
  9. Grievance Procedures
    Any MSU student, employee or campus visitor dissatisfied with a decision about or treatment of a service animal should follow the applicable grievance procedure in the MSU Complaint Policy p. 48 in the MSU Student Handbook.

Appendix A
Minot State University's Requirements of Service Animals and Their Partners/Handlers

  1. The care and supervision of a service animal is the responsibility of the individual with a disability. The dog must always be with the partner. The handler must be in full control of the animal at all times, and the animal must behave properly in public settings.
  2. The partner of an unruly or disruptive animal may be asked to remove the animal from University's facilities.
  3. Service dogs often wear a harness, cape or backpack, but those items are not required by law.
  4. The partner is responsible for immediately cleaning up after the dog defecates. Fines for this violation are established by MSU Housing or the Facilities Department.
  5. The dog must have current vaccinations, licensing and owner ID tags as required by the city of Minot, N.D.