|Applies to:||Original Policy Date:||Date of Last Review:||Approved by:|
|All Florida Tech Faculty, Staff, and Students||June 2020||July 2022||Dr. Marco Carvalho
Executive Vice President and Provost
Florida Tech complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the U.S.D.H.U.D.’s Fair Housing Act requirements to make reasonable accommodations in Florida Tech’s policies, practices, or procedures when necessary to accommodate people with disabilities. This policy sets forth university policy and procedures related to the presence of Emotional Support Animals on university owned and controlled property.
All Florida Tech faculty, staff, students, and others on university-owned or controlled property.
Florida Tech is committed to making reasonable modifications to its rules, policies, and practices as required by law to provide equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in the participation in activities operated and sponsored by the University. This includes supporting the presence and use of Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) in accordance with policy guidelines.
Approved emotional support animals are permitted to reside in university housing and may qualify as a reasonable accommodation for employees. The ESA is allowed in University housing or workspaces only if the owner has a disability-related need for the animal.
Verification of Emotional Support Animal (ESA)
As a condition for approval of having an ESA in university housing or in the workplace, the University may require documentation from a physician, psychiatrist, physician’s assistant, social worker, or other mental health professional that the animal provides emotional support to the requestor that alleviates one or more of the identified effects or symptoms of an existing disability. The documentation will be sufficient if it establishes that the student or employee has a disability and that the animal in question will provide some type of disability-related assistance or emotional support.
Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Disability Request
- Students requesting an ESA in university housing as an accommodation should file an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Request Form, which can be obtained from the Office of Accessibility Resources website. Assistance with completing the form can be obtained by contacting the Office of Accessibility Resources at (321) 674-8285 or visiting the office, located in the Student Success and Support Center Allen S. Henry Building, Room 106. The deadline for submission of an ESA request is 60 days prior to the beginning of each semester. Any request submitted after the deadline will be examined on a case-by-case basis and accommodation provided if available at the time of submission. No ESA may be kept in university housing at any time prior to the approval of the application.
Applicants requesting approval to keep an ESA in university housing must provide written consent for the Office of Accessibility 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, Florida Tech Housing personnel, Residence Life personnel and potential and/or actual roommate(s) or neighbor(s). Such information shall be limited to information related to the animal and shall not include information related to the individual’s disability.
- Faculty and Staff requesting an ESA as an accommodation should complete a Reasonable Accommodation Request Form. Applicants requesting approval for an ESA on campus must provide written consent for the Office of Human 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 the employee’s supervisor and co-workers.
Florida Tech reserves the right to deny an individual’s request to live with and/or use an animal as an ESA if: (1) the specific assistance animal in question poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others that cannot be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation, or (2) the specific assistance animal would cause substantial physical damage to the property of others that cannot be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation. A decision to deny approval shall be based on an individualized assessment based upon objective evidence about the specific animal’s conduct. Among the potential considerations are:
- Whether the animal poses or has posed in the past a direct threat to the student or employee, or others
- Whether the animal causes or has caused excessive damage to housing or the workspace beyond reasonable wear and tear
- Whether the size of the animal is too large for available assigned housing space or workspace
- Whether the animal’s presence would force another individual from their assigned housing or workspace; and
- Whether the animal is housebroken.
Use of ESAs and Owner Responsibilities
The University is not responsible for the care or supervision of ESAs on campus. ESA owners are responsible for the cost, care, and supervision of ESAs.
- 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 and proof of licensure. ESAs must have an annual clean bill of health from a licensed veterinarian. Documentation should be an Animal Wellness check from a veterinarian regarding the animal’s health. The University has the authority to direct that the ESA receive veterinary attention but has no obligation to do so.
- Approved ESAs are not considered pets and are permitted to reside in university housing with a student with a disability whom they accompany. ESAs must be confined to the student’s individually assigned residence hall room and associated living spaces, except when necessary for the animal to go outside for natural relief or when transported outside the private residential areas in an animal carrier or controlled by leash or harness. Students in University housing must abide by all University housing policies.
ESAs that accompany employees must be confined to the employee’s individually assigned workspace, except when necessary for the animal to go outside for natural relief or when transported outside the workspace in an animal carrier or controlled by leash or harness.
ESAs are not permitted in any University facilities other than the University housing or workspace to which the Owner is assigned.
The owner is responsible for ensuring that the ESA does not unduly interfere with the routine activities of the residence or work area.
- The ESA must be properly housed and under the control of the owner. It must be on a leash or harness or in a carrier when not in the student’s room or employee’s immediate workspace (if appropriate). In all cases the ESA must be under the handler’s control. If the owner is not present the ESA must be appropriately contained in a cage, carrier, tank, etc.
- The owner will be responsible for any property damage caused by the ESA beyond reasonable wear and tear.
- The animal MUST be completely housebroken as appropriate to the type of animal. Training pads are not permitted. The owner is also responsible for ensuring the cleanup of the ESA’s waste and, if appropriate to the type of animal, must toilet the animal in outdoor areas designated by the University. All animal waste, including cat litter, must be placed in a sturdy plastic bag and securely tied up before being disposed of in the appropriately labeled outside trash containers. Litter boxes must be placed on mats so that waste is not tracked onto carpeted surfaces. All bathing/washing care of animals must take place off-campus.
- The owner is liable for the actions of their ESA, including financial obligations or bodily injury.
- ESAs may not be left overnight on university property to be cared for by any individual other than the owner.
The owner must provide contact information for an alternative caregiver or an emergency contact who will take responsibility for the ESA and remove it from campus should the owner be unable to care for it (e.g., hospitalization, accident). The caregiver or emergency contact must reside OFF campus and must be available to remove the ESA in a timely manner appropriate for the animal species and needed care. Dogs must be removed within 6 hours. All other animals must be removed in no more than 12 hours. The University may have an ESA removed from university property if it is not removed in a timely manner as specified.
- The owner must notify the Office of Accessibility Resources (students) or the Office of Human Resources (employees) in writing if the ESA is no longer needed or is no longer in residence.
For Student questions regarding Emotional Support Animals on campus grounds, please contact:
Office of Accessibility Resources
Student Success and Support Center
Allen S. Henry Building, Room 106
Accessibility Resources Website
Florida Tech Campus Services
L3Harris Commons Building, Suite 113
Campus Services Website
For faculty and staff questions regarding Emotional Support Animals on campus grounds, please contact:
Office of Human Resources
R. A. Work Administrative Building (408WRK)
Human Resources Website
For information regarding local vaccination, licensing, and tag requirements, please contact:
Brevard County Animal Services
Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services Website
For reporting an unruly and/or unlicensed animal on campus, please contact:
Emotional Support Animal (ESA): An ESA is an animal that provides emotional support or alleviates one or more of the identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability. Unlike service animals, ESAs do not have to be specially trained and are not limited to dogs or miniature horses.
Housebroken: The animal is trained to eliminate its waste in an outdoor area and reliably does so or, for types of animals that are not typically taken outside for this purpose, the animal is reliable in its use of a litter box or other method of waste containment commonly accepted for its species.
Owner: For purposes of this policy, “owner” includes the individual who uses the ESA, regardless of legal ownership.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Assistance Animals
Reasonable Accommodations Under the Fair Housing Act
Frequently Asked Questions about Services Animals and the ADA, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division
Brevard County, Florida Code of Ordinances, Chapter 14, Article II. Animal Control
Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services
ESA Owners are responsible for obtaining approval for the ESA and the cost, care, liability, and supervision of their ESA in accordance with policy guidelines, for properly vaccinating and licensing their animals, and ensuring appropriate cleanup of animal waste.
Office of Accessibility Resources is responsible for reviewing student applications for ESAs, approving as appropriate, and communications necessary to implement the accommodation.
Office of Human Resources is responsible for reviewing employee applications for ESAs, approving as appropriate, and communications necessary to implement the accommodation.
Individuals acting on behalf of the university are responsible to accommodate ESAs in accordance with this policy.
Removal of Animal: The University may remove an animal if it is not an approved ESA or a Service Animal covered under the Service Animal Policy.
The University may remove an ESA if there is substantial objective evidence that 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 the University’s programming;
- The owner does not comply with the Owner’s responsibilities as set forth above; or
- The animal or its presence creates an unreasonable disturbance in or interference with the University community.
In instances where it is determined that ESA care needs are not being met to ensure its health and well-being, the University reserves the right to have the animal removed from university property.
Abuse of this policy or failure to appropriately care for and supervise one’s ESA in accordance with this policy may result in disciplinary action.