Assistance Animal procedure and agreement
“Assistance Animals” are a category of animals that may work, provide assistance, or perform physical tasks for an individual with a disability and/or provide necessary emotional support to an individual with a mental or psychiatric disability that alleviates one or more identified symptoms of an individual’s disability, but which are not considered Service Animals under the ADAAA. Some Assistance Animals are professionally trained, but in other cases Assistance Animals provide the necessary support to individuals with disabilities without any formal training or certification. Dogs are commonly used as Assistance Animals, but any animal may serve a person with a disability as an Assistance Animal.  Even if the individual with a disability establishes necessity for an Assistance Animal and it is allowed in University housing, an Assistance Animal is not permitted in other areas of the University (e.g. dining facilities, libraries, academic buildings, athletic buildings and facilities, classrooms, labs, individual centers, etc.).
The “Owner” is the individual who has requested the accommodation and has received approval to bring an Assistance Animal into University Housing.
Disability Resources collaborates with individuals, faculty, and staff to ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to all NAU programs and activities.
Procedures for requesting Assistance Animals in university housing
The procedure for requesting Assistance Animals follows the general procedures set forth in the Procedure for Requesting University Housing Accommodation and the requirements set forth below. However, to the extent the requirements and procedures in this Policy conflict with the Requesting University Housing Accommodation Procedure, this Policy shall control.
Criteria for determining if presence of the Assistance Animal is reasonable
University housing is unique in several aspects including the mandatory assignment of roommates for many individuals and the mandate that individuals must share a room or suite in certain residence halls. To ensure that the presence of Assistance Animals is not an undue administrative burden or fundamental alteration of University housing, NAU reserves the right to assign an individual with an Assistance Animal to a single room without a roommate.
For all requests for Assistance Animals, Disability Resources shall make a determination on a case-by-case basis of whether the presence of an Assistance Animal is reasonable. A request for an Assistance Animal may be denied as unreasonable if the presence of the animal:
- Imposes an undue financial and/or administrative burden;
- Fundamentally alters University housing policies; and/or
- Poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others or would cause substantial property damage to the property of others, including University property.
NAU may consider the following factors, among others, as evidence in determining whether the presence of the animal is reasonable or in the making of housing assignments for individuals with Assistance Animals:
- The size of the animal is too large for available assigned housing space;
- The animal’s presence would force another individual from individual housing (e.g. serious allergies);
- The animal’s presence otherwise violates individuals’ right to peace and quiet enjoyment;
- The animal is not housebroken or is unable to live with others in a reasonable manner;
- The animal’s vaccinations are not up-to-date;
- The animal poses or has posed in the past a direct threat to the individual or others such as aggressive behavior towards or injuring the individual or others; or
- The animal causes or has caused excessive damage to housing beyond reasonable wear and tear.
Access to university facilities by Assistance Animals
Assistance Animals Accordion Closed
An Assistance Animal must be contained within the Owner’s privately assigned individual living accommodations (e.g., room, suite, apartment) except to the extent the individual is taking the animal out for natural relief. When an Assistance Animal is outside the private individual living accommodations, it must be in an animal carrier or controlled by a leash or harness. Assistance Animals are not allowed in any University facilities other than University residence halls (e.g. dormitories, suites, apartments, etc.) to which the individual is assigned.
Dominion and control Accordion Closed
An Assistance Animal must be properly housed and restrained or otherwise under the dominion and control of the Owner at all times. No Owner shall permit the animal to go loose or run at large. If an animal is found running at large, the animal is subject to capture and confinement and immediate removal from University housing.
Owner’s responsibilities for Assistance Animal
If the University grants an Owner’s request to live with an Assistance Animal, the Owner is solely responsible for the custody and care of the Assistance Animal and must meet the following requirements:
General responsibilities Accordion Closed
The Owner must abide by current city, county, and state ordinances, laws, and/or regulations pertaining to licensing, vaccination, and other requirements for animals. It is the Owner’s responsibility to know and understand these ordinances, laws, and regulations. The University has the right to require documentation of compliance with such ordinances, laws, and/or regulations, which may include a vaccination certificate. The University reserves the right to request documentation showing that the animal has been licensed.
The Owner is required to clean up after and properly dispose of the animal’s waste in a safe and sanitary manner and, when provided, must use animal relief areas designated by NAU.
The Owner is required to ensure the animal is well cared for at all times. Any evidence of mistreatment or abuse may result in immediate removal of the Assistance Animal and/or discipline for the responsible individual.
The Owner may be charged for any damage caused by the Assistance Animal beyond reasonable wear and tear to the same extent that it charges other individuals for damages beyond reasonable wear and tear. The Owner’s living accommodations may also be inspected for fleas, ticks or other pests if necessary as part of the University’s standard or routine inspections. If fleas, ticks or other pests are detected through inspection, the residence will be treated using approved fumigation methods by a University-approved pest control service. The Owner will be billed for the expense of any pest treatment above and beyond standard pest management in the residence halls. The University shall have the right to bill the Owner’s account for unmet obligations under this provision.
The Owner must fully cooperate with University personnel with regard to meeting the terms of this Policy and developing procedures for care of the animal (e.g., cleaning the animal, feeding, watering the animal, designating an outdoor relief area, disposing of feces, etc.).
Assistance Animals may not be left overnight in University Housing to be cared for by any individual other than the Owner. If the Owner is to be absent from their residence hall overnight or longer, the animal must accompany the Owner. The Owner is responsible for ensuring that the Assistance Animal is contained, as appropriate, when the Owner is not present during the day while attending classes or other activities.
The Owner agrees to abide by all equally applicable residential policies that are unrelated to the individual’s disability such as assuring that the animal does not unduly interfere with the routine activities of the residence or cause difficulties for individuals who reside there.
The animal is allowed in University housing only as long as it is necessary because of the Owner’s disability. The Owner must notify the Disability Services Office in writing if the Assistance Animal is no longer needed or is no longer in residence. To replace an Assistance Animal, the new animal must be necessary because of the Owner’s disability and the Owner must follow the procedures in this Policy and the Reasonable Accommodation Policy when requesting a different animal.
NAU personnel shall not be required to provide care or food for any Assistance Animal including, but not limited to, removing the animal during emergency evacuation for events such as a fire alarm. Emergency personnel will determine whether to remove the animal and may not be held responsible for the care, damage to, or loss of the animal.
The owner must provide written consent for Disability Resources to disclose information regarding the request for and presence of the Assistance Animal to those individuals who may be impacted by the presence of the animal including, but not limited to, Residence Life personnel and potential and/or actual roommate(s)/neighbor(s). Such information shall be limited to information related to the animal and shall not include information related to the individual’s disability.
Removal of Assistance Animal
The University may require the individual to remove the animal from University housing if:
- The animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others or causes substantial property damage to the property of others;
- The animal’s presence results in a fundamental alteration of a University program;
- The Owner does not comply with the Owner’s Responsibilities set forth above; or
- The animal or its’ presence creates an unmanageable disturbance or interference with the University community.
The University will base such determinations upon the consideration of the behavior of the particular animal at issue, and not on speculation or fear about the harm or damages an animal may cause. Any removal of the animal will be done in consultation with Disability Resources and may be appealed to the Northern Arizona University ADA – Section 504 Compliance Officer following the procedure set forth in Paragraph 5 of the Housing Accommodation Policy. The Owner will be afforded all rights of due process and appeal as outlined in that process.
Should the Assistance Animal be removed from the premises for any reason, the Owner is expected to fulfill their housing obligations for the remainder of the housing contract.
NAU will not retaliate against any person because that individual has requested or received a reasonable accommodation in University housing, including a request for an Assistance Animal.
 It is important to note that animals that may be needed because of a disability may be identified by various names. For example, an individual may identify the animal as a companion animal, therapy animal, or emotional support animal