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Seton Hall University

Policy on Service Animals


It is Seton Hall's policy that users/handlers are responsible for ensuring the safety of service animals. A service animal is any animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability. While access rights are legally afforded to users of service animals, that access is accompanied by the responsibility of ensuring that animals act and respond appropriately at all times while in public; and that users/handlers adhere to the same socially accepted standards of behavior as other members of the University community.


University Policy


Guide dog: A dog that is trained to serve as a travel tool for individuals who are blind or have low vision.

Hearing dog: A dog that has been trained to alert deaf persons or those with significant hearing loss, to sounds such as knocks on doors, fire alarms, phone ringing, etc.

Service dog (assistance dog): A dog that has been trained to assist a person with a mobility or health impairment. Types of duties the dog may perform include carrying, fetching, opening doors, ringing doorbells, activating elevator buttons, steadying a person while walking, assisting a person to get up after a fall, etc.

Sig (signal) dog: A dog trained to assist a person with autism. The dog makes a person aware of movements, which may appear distracting to others and are common to those with autism. A person with autism may also have deficits in sensory input and may need service animals to provide similar assistance as is provided to a person who is blind or deaf.

Seizure response dog: A dog trained to assist persons with seizure disorders. The method by which the dog serves varies depending on the individual's needs. Some dogs are able to predict seizures and provide advanced warning.


Individuals should not:

  1. Documentation Requirements
    The user/handler of the service animal must show proof that the animal has met the following regulations:
Licensing: If the animal is residing on campus it must meet the Village of South Orange licensing requirements and wear tags designating this license. If the animal accompanies a commuter student, employee or other campus visitor and resides in another locale, the animal must meet the licensing requirements of the user/handler's resident town and wear tags indicating this licensing. Records of animal licensing are to be submitted to the Office of Disability Support Services.
  2. Control Requirements
    • The animal must be leashed at all times. Exceptions are only permitted when the animal is performing a specific duty that requires it to be unleashed.
    • The handler/partner must be in full control of the animal at all times.
    • The animal must be as unobtrusive as possible.
    • The animal must be well-groomed; measures should be taken at all times to maintain flea and odor control.
    • Consideration of others must be taken into account when providing maintenance and hygiene of assistance animals.
    • A service animal must be well-behaved. Its partner must ensure that the animal refrains from behavior that threatens the health and safety of others.
When a service animal is determined to be out of control, the infraction will be treated on an individual basis through the Office of Disability Support Services and the Office of Community Development or Human Resources. If the animal poses a threat to the safety of others, Public Safety will be part of a collaborative team to determine the outcome of the behavior. Consequences may include, but are not limited to, muzzling a barking dog, refresher training for the animal and its partner or exclusion from University facilities.
In the event that a service animal is excluded from University facilities due its behavior, the University will grant the individual the option of continuing to attend the University without the service animal present. 
  3. Public Etiquette by Students/Staff/Faculty/Administrators on Campus
    • Pet a service animal while it is working. Service animals are trained to be protective of their partners and petting distracts them from their responsibilities.
    • Feed a working service animal.
    • Deliberately startle, tease or taunt a service animal.
    • Separate or attempt to separate a partner from his/her handler.
    • Hesitate to ask a student if he/she would like assistance if the team seems confused about a direction in which to turn, an accessible entrance, the location of an elevator, etc.
    • Feed service animals alcoholic beverages on or off campus. To do such will result in disciplinary action through the Office of Community Development or Human Resources.
  4. Relief Areas

    Relief areas will be designated on an individual basis with the collaboration of the Office of Disability Support Services and the University grounds personnel. 
  5. Areas of Safety
Some locations are considered to be unsafe for animals such as medical facilities, laboratories, mechanical rooms, etc. The safety of locations will be individually considered by the Office of Disability Support Services, the laboratory director or professor, and the University risk management team. If a location is determined to be unsafe, reasonable accommodations will be provided to ensure the individual equal access to the activity.
  6. Emergency Situations
In the event of an emergency the Crisis Intervention Team (Emergency Response Team) that responds should be trained to recognize service animals and their role in communicating their partners' need for assistance. The partner and/or animal may be confused or disoriented in a stressful situation due to smoke, sirens, wind noise or by shaking and moving ground. The response team should be aware that animals may be protective in their confusion and should not be considered harmful. The Team should make every effort to keep the animal with its partner.
  7. Conflicting Disabilities

    Allergic reactions to animals are common. Persons who have asthma, allergies, or other medical conditions effected by the presence of animals are asked to contact the Office of Disability Support Services. The person impacted by the presence of the animal must provide verifiable medical documentation to support their claim. The needs of both persons will be considered in resolving the issue. 
  8. Residence Halls

    If an allergy/animal conflict within a residence hall cannot be resolved agreeably, then the Department of Housing and Residence Life and the Office of Disability Support Services will collaborate to determine a solution. Please note that if a person using a service animal was assigned to a residence hall before the person with the medical reaction, the person utilizing the service animal will not removed to accommodate the second person (Disability Compliance for Higher Education, July 1996. Vol. 1, No. 12, p 4 and 5).
  9. Temporary Residents

    All temporary campus visitors/residents (those attending conferences, workshops, lectures, etc.) must adhere to the guidelines outlined in this policy.

Responsible Offices


Tracy Gottlieb, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Services

Effective Date

January 18, 2010

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