Valley City State University (VCSU) is committed to making reasonable accommodations to qualified students with disabilities. Students with disabilities who live in campus may be permitted to have an Assistance Animal in campus housing as a reasonable accommodation. In determining eligibility for an Assistance Animal, Valley City State University will follow the policies and recommendations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, the Fair Housing Act (FHA) of 1968, and clarification provided by FHEO-2020-01. 

 

A.  Assistance Animals

 

Animals defined strictly as pets are not allowed to live on campus in the residence halls or apartment buildings that are controlled by Valley City State University. Assistance animals are not pets. There are two types of assistance animals: 

 

  1. Service animals—under the ADA, “service animal means 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 purpose of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability.”

 

  1. Other trained or untrained animals that do work, perform tasks, provide assistance, and/or provide therapeutic emotional support for individuals with disabilities.

Assistance animals other than service animals may be restricted to certain residential locations. Exceptions to restricted areas may be granted on a case-by-case basis.

Any animals prohibited by ordinance in the City of Valley City are also prohibited on campus.

 

B.  Requesting the Accommodation of an Assistance Animal


Students requesting accommodation of an assistance animal should fill out a request for an assistance animal by contacting the office for Disability Support Services. In the case of service animals, the request serves as notification to the university that a student is bringing a service animal to campus. In the case of assistance animals other than service animals, the request serves as a request for a reasonable accommodation to be considered by the VCSU Assistance Team. Requests for an assistance animal other than a service animal will be evaluated and responded to within 10 business days (excluding holidays) of the date the application is submitted. 

 

C.  Documentation Requirements

 

1. The following documentation is requested to accompany the Request for an Assistance Animal:

1.1 Verification of a disability

1.2 Verification of the student’s need for an assistance animal as an accommodation for the disability 

1.3 Verification of the need for a unique animal if the animal requested is not a common household animal. 

 

2. The following documentation is requested following approval of an Assistance Animal:

2.1 Verification of a rabies vaccine, if applicable. 

2.2 A picture of the animal, to allow university personnel to identify the animal in the event of an emergency.

2.3 Proof of licensure in Valley City, if the animal is a dog or a cat. This is required per ordinance 581 by the city of Valley City. Licenses are issued by the Valley City Police Department.

2.4 Proof of permanent animal identification, if the animal is a dog or a cat. This is required per ordinance 581 by the city of Valley City. According to Ordinance 581, permanent animal identification “shall include one of the following: a. a microchip implanted in the cat or dog which bears a registered identification number, and which can be read by a standard microchip scanner; or b. a tattoo which readily distinguishes the cat or dog from other dogs or cats; or c. a permanent tag or shield attached to a durable collar worn at all times by the cat or dog, and bearing the owner’s current name, address and telephone number. 

2.5 Proof of routine veterinary care.

 

D. Student responsibilities

 

  1. Students who have an assistance animal on campus are responsible for proper care for the animal at all times. Proper care includes providing food and water, providing amounts of exercise recommended for the type and breed of animal, and regularly cleaning the animal’s living space. 

 

  1. Students who have an assistance animal on campus are responsible for removal of animal waste products in a timely manner. For animals that relieve themselves out of doors, students are responsible for picking up and disposing of animal waste immediately. For caged animals, students are responsible for picking up and disposing of animal waste on a daily basis. 

 

  1. Students who have an assistance animal on campus are responsible for sealing animal waste, including soiled bedding, in plastic waste bags and properly dispose of those sealed bags in outdoor waste receptacles.

 

  1. Students who have an assistance animal on campus are responsible for flea, tick, and odor control.

 

  1. Students who have an assistance animal on campus are responsible for noise control. 

 

  1. Students who have an assistance animal on campus are responsible for reading and following all state laws and local ordinances on animal ownership.

 

  1. Students who have an assistance animal on campus are required to notify their RA immediately if their assistance animal urinates, defecates, or vomits on university owned carpet or upholstery or if the animal is missing.. 

 

  1. Students who have an assistance animal on campus and fail to maintain responsible ownership as outlined above will be subject to a conduct violation and/or local law enforcement.


E.  Liability


1.  Students who have an assistance animal on campus are financially responsible for damage and/or injury caused by the animal 

including, but not limited to, cost of repairs, replacement or cleaning of facilities or furnishings and any bodily injury or personal injury caused to other persons by the animal.


2.  Students who have an assistance animal on campus are encouraged to have, and provide evidence of, current insurance coverage for damages and/or any injuries the

animal may cause to a third party.


3.  Valley City State University and its employees do not assume legal or financial responsibility for the safety of the animal or the impact of any animals on campus.

 


Sponsor:  Director of Counseling Services

Effective:  December 2015

Effective:  April 2018

Effective: March 2020

Revised: December 2021