Service Animals Policy for Students

This policy addresses Service Animals as defined below, while they are on campus.

A.      Service Animals

The Department of Justice defines service animals as “dogs 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, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA. This definition does not affect or limit the broader definition of “assistance animal” under the Fair Housing Act …”

Service animals need not have special certification or identification in order to qualify as such. They need only be required because of a disability and to be trained to work or perform a task. If it is not readily apparent what work an animal performs, MIIS personnel will limit inquiries to only two questions, which are:

1)      Is this animal a service animal required because of a disability?

2)      What task or work has this animal been trained to perform?

Service animals shall be allowed into any area of the campus that students or other handlers may go including the classrooms, library, Samson Student Center, Holland Center, etc. Service animals are allowed on these premises unless the animal is out of control or is not housebroken. Miniature horses may also be recognized as service animals. In accordance with applicable regulations, the Institute’s permitting the use of a miniature horse on campus will depend upon: (1) whether the miniature horse is housebroken; (2) whether the miniature horse is under the owner’s control; (3) whether the facility can accommodate the miniature horse’s type, size, and weight; and (4) whether the miniature horse’s presence will not compromise legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operation of the facility. Otherwise, related inquiries will be the same as those for dogs that are service animals.

MIIS encourages students to register their service animals with the Office of Student Services but this is not a requirement.  MIIS may request proof of need for service animal as needed.

B. Student Responsibilities Relating to Service Animals

Care and Supervision

-Animals must be accompanied by their owners/handlers and under their control at all times.

-Owners/handlers are responsible for their animal’s behavior in both public and private areas, and they must ensure their animals are harnessed or on a leash at all times.

-Owners/handlers are responsible for cleaning and grooming related to their animal including bathing and grooming, pest control, and sanitary disposal of animal waste.

-The owner/handler is responsible for any property damage caused by their animal.


The animal must be licensed and vaccinated in accordance with California state, county, and/or municipal laws. The vaccination tag and license must be worn by the animal at all times.

Removal of an Animal

MIIS maintains the right to remove an animal under certain circumstances if:

-the animal is out of control of the handler,

-if it is not vaccinated or licensed,

-if it causes disturbances such as noise or excessive odors, or

-if it poses a direct threat to any member of the MIIS community. 

Additional Resource 

U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section, ADA 2010 Revised Requirements,