Dominican University provides reasonable accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. The University allows individuals with Service Animals access to buildings on campus, including University Housing. The University will allow qualified students with disabilities to have  Assistance/Emotional Support Animals (ESAs)  in University Housing on a case-by-case basis according to the policy outlined below.

Service Animals

Per Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Dominican University allows a person with a disability to be accompanied by a service animal in all places where students and members of the public are permitted to go, except where animals are specifically prohibited due to a health or safety hazard. Service animals are defined as dogs (and in some cases miniature horses) 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, and alerting/protecting a person who is having a seizure. The provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of defining a service dog. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability.

Assistance/Emotional Support Animals (ESAs)

Per the Fair Housing Act, Dominican University provides reasonable accommodations for a student with a disability to have an assistance/emotional support animal (ESA) in University housing. An ESA is an animal that is necessary to afford a person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling when there is an identifiable relationship or nexus between the person’s disability and the assistance the animal provides. Assistance or Emotional support animals include species other than dogs and miniature horses. An ESA is prescribed to an individual with a disability by a health care or mental health professional and is an integral part of a person’s treatment process. Assistance or emotional support animals are generally only allowed within a student’s residence in University housing, though requests for the emotional support or assistance animal to accompany the student to other campus locations will be considered on a case by case basis. Requests should be made to the Disability Support Services Coordinator, located within the Dean of Students Office. There must be a link between the animal and a disability. Emotional distress resulting from having to give up an animal because of a no pets policy does not qualify a person for an accommodation under federal law.

Dominican University Service and Assistance and Emotional Support Animal Policy Requirements

  1. Students who seek to have a service or assistance animal in University Housing must notify the Disability Support Services Coordinator as soon as possible, ideally at least 45 days prior to move-in.
  2. The student must complete the Service and Assistance Animal Agreement in full and comply with its rules.
  3. If the student’s disability and related need for a service or emotional assistance animal is not readily apparent or already known to the University, the student must provide documentation of the disability and disability-related need for a service or emotional assistance animal from the student’s health care professional.
  4. Review by the Dominican University DSS staff, and approval by the Dean of Students.

No animal may be permitted in University housing that:

  1. Is not approved by Dean of Students.
  2. Is out of control or not housebroken.
  3. Poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.
  4. Would cause substantial physical damage to University property or the property of others.
  5. Would pose an undue financial and administrative burden.
  6. Results in a fundamental alteration of the University’s program(s).


If a requested accommodation is not approved, or a student is required to remove the service or assistance animal due to a violation of the Service and Assistance Animal Agreement, the student may appeal the decision with the the Dean of Students. . If the appeal process is unsuccessful or if the student does not wish to use it, a formal grievance should be submitted via Dominican University’s One Process Policy.