Service Animal Policy
|Original Policy Date:
|Date of Last Review:
|All Florida Tech Faculty, Staff, and Students
|Dr. Marco Carvalho
Executive Vice President and Provost
Florida Tech complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 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 Service Animals on university owned and controlled property.
All Florida Tech faculty, staff and 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 Service Animals in accordance with policy guidelines.
Verification of Service Animal
The University will not ask about the nature or extent of an individual’s disability. However, when it is not readily apparent that the animal identified by the individual as a Service Animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for the individual, an employee may ask the individual with the disability if the Service Animal is required because of a disability and what work or task the animal has been trained to perform. The University will not require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a Service Animal.
Training of Service Animals
Service animals in training are permitted on the Florida Tech campus, in accordance with state law.
Use of Service Animals and Owner Responsibilities
The University is not responsible for the care or supervision of Service Animals on campus. Service Animal owners are responsible for the cost, care, and supervision of service animals.
- The owner must abide by 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.
- A Service Animal must be under the control of the handler and must be on a leash or harness (if appropriate). In cases where either the handler is unable to hold a tether because of a disability or its use would interfere with the Service Animal’s safe, effective performance of work or tasks, the Service Animal must be under the handler’s control by some other means, such as voice or signal control.
- The owner will be responsible for any property damage caused by the Service Animal beyond reasonable wear and tear.
- The animal MUST be completely housebroken. The owner of a Service Animal is responsible for cleanup of the animal’s waste.
- The owner is liable for the actions of their Service Animal, including financial obligations or bodily injury.
Interaction with Service Animals
Interaction with a Service Animal by an individual other than the owner is to be only by permission of the owner.
Service Animals in Laboratory Settings
These guidelines are intended to ensure the safety of students, staff, faculty, and Service Animals within the laboratory environment. As hazardous chemicals, open flames, glassware, and electrical equipment pose unique risks, the following procedures are recommended:
- Alternative seating at the end of benches or using gates, pens, or kennels (for kennel-trained service animals) may be appropriate. Owners should be permitted to keep the Service Animal as close as is safe for the owner and the animal. Owners may wish to visit the lab in advance of the class to familiarize themselves and their animal with the layout of the lab, as well as the smells and sounds of the lab.
- Service Animals entering laboratories must, like their owners, be protected to prevent exposure to hazardous chemicals, broken glass or other hazards that might be present, as appropriate to the laboratory environment. This means protective equipment analogous to that required for the owner is required for the Service Animal. Equipment needed for the Service Animal must be provided by the owner and could include but is not limited to disposable or reusable boots to cover the feet/paws/hooves, eye protection, and/or lab coats. If appropriate protective equipment is not provided, the Service Animal may not be permitted into the lab.
- Service Animals in labs are expected to maintain the same level of appropriate behavior as in other University settings. This includes no jumping, barking unless in the proper context, growling, or interfering with lab activities. Individuals other than the owner are not to interact with Service Animals in the laboratory.
- Service Animal access can be restricted if the presence of the animal can interfere with the outcomes of the experiments or if substances used can be hazardous to the animal. Access should not be denied without consultation between the owner, lab instructor or manager, and the Office of Accessibility Resources for students and the Office of Human Resources for faculty or staff.
For Student questions regarding Service 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 Service Animals on campus grounds, please contact:
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:
Service Animal: 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. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the owner’s disability. Examples of such work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind, or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors.
A miniature horse that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for individuals with disabilities may also qualify as a Service Animal and be permitted at the University depending upon size, weight, and type.
The crime deterrent effects of an animal’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.
Housebroken: The animal is trained to eliminate its waste in an outdoor area and reliably does so.
Owner: For purposes of this policy, “owner” includes the individual who uses/handles the Service Animal, regardless of legal ownership.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
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
Owners/handlers are responsible for the cost, care, liability, and supervision of their Service Animals, for properly vaccinating and licensing their animals and ensuring appropriate cleanup of animal waste.
Employees acting on behalf of the university are responsible to accommodate Service Animals in accordance with this policy.
Lab instructors or managers are responsible for consulting with the Office of Accessibility Resources or the Office of Human Resources if there are concerns about permitting a Service Animal in a lab.
Removal of Animal: The University may remove a Service Animal if there is substantial objective evidence that:
- The Service Animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others or causes substantial property damage to the property of others;
- The Service Animal’s presence results in a fundamental alteration of the University’s programming;
- The owner or handler does not comply with their responsibilities as set forth above; or
- The animal or its presence creates an unreasonable disturbance in or interference with the University community.
Employees who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary action.