Service Animal Policy

Effective Date: June 2020

Applicable Employee Classes:Reviewed Date:Approved by
All Florida Tech Faculty, Staff and Students July 2020 Dr. T. Dwayne McCay, President

I. Statement of Commitment

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 of activities operated and sponsored by the University. This Procedure applies to the use of services animals used by individuals with disabilities at the University.

II. 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.

III. 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 dog identified by the individual with a disability is trained to do work or perform tasks for him or her, an employee may ask the individual with the disability if the dog is required because of a disability and what work or task the dog has been trained to perform. The University will not require documentation, such as proof that the dog has been certified, trained, or licensed as a Service Animal.

IV. Training of Service Animals

Florida law allows service animals in training on college campuses.

V. Student Use of Service Animals

The University is not responsible for the care or supervision of service animals on campus. Individuals with disabilities are responsible for the cost, care, and supervision of service animals.

  1. 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.
  2. A service animal must be under the control of the owner 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.
  3. The owner will be responsible for any damage caused by the service animal beyond reasonable wear and tear.
  4. The animal MUST be completely house trained-for dogs: trained to urinate and defecate outside.
  5. The owner is responsible for the actions of the service animals, including financial obligations or bodily injury.

VI. Services Animals in Laboratory Settings

These guidelines are intended to ensure the safety of both students and service dogs within the laboratory environment. As hazardous chemicals, open flames, glassware, and electrical equipment pose unique risks, the following procedures are recommended:

  1. Alternative seating at the end of benches or using gates, pens, or kennels (for kennel-trained service dogs) may be appropriate. Students should be permitted to keep the service dog as close as is safe for the student and the dog. Students may wish to visit the lab in advance of the class to familiarize themselves and their dog with the layout of the lab, as well as the smells and sounds of the lab.
  2. Service dogs entering laboratories must be similarly protected as is expected of the student to prevent exposure to hazardous chemicals, broken glass or other hazards that might be present in the laboratory environment. This equipment would be provided by the owner and include disposable or reusable boots to cover the feet, eye protection, and/or lab coats. If appropriate protective equipment is not provided, the service dog may not be permitted into the lab.
  3. Service dogs 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. Interaction with the dog is by permission of the owner and may only be permitted outside of the laboratory.
  4. Service dog access can be restricted if the presence of the dog can interfere with the outcomes of the experiments or if substances used can be hazardous to a dog. Access should not be denied without consultation between the student, lab instructor or manager, and the Office of Accessibility Resources.

VII. Removal of an Animal

The University may remove a Service Animal if there is substantial objective evidence that the animal:

  1. Poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others or causes substantial property damage to the property of others;
  2. The services animal’s presence results in a fundamental alteration of the University’s programming;
  3. The owner does not comply with the Owner’s Responsibilities set forth above: or
  4. The animal or its presence creates an unreasonable disturbance in or interference with the University community.

VIII. Getting Help

  1. For questions regarding service animals on campus grounds, please contact:
    Office of Accessibility Resources
    Evans Pavilion Annex (south entrance)
    Telephone: (321) 674-8285
    Website: Accessibility Resources

    Florida Tech Campus Services
    Harris Commons Building, Suite 113
    Telephone: (321) 674-8926
    Website: Campus Services
  2. For information regarding local vaccination, licensing, and tag requirements, please contact:
    Brevard County Animal Services
    Telephone: (321) 633-2024
    Website: Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services
  3. For reporting an unruly and/or unlicensed animal on campus, contact:
    Campus Security
    Telephone: (321) 674-8111

IX. References

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Brevard County, Florida- Code of Ordinances Chapter 14- Animal Articles II- Animal Control
  • Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services
  • Frequently Asked Questions about Services Animals and the ADA, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division