The University of Connecticut recently changed its policies regarding the use of service animals, Emotional Support Animals (ESA) and other animals on campus.
The new policy, Animals on Campus, owned by the Office of Institutional Equity, became effective on June 9, 2017.
It dictates that while individuals are generally not allowed to bring animals into buildings and other controlled spaces on University property, an exception exists for individuals with disabilities, who can bring service animals and ESAs on and/or into controlled spaces.
A controlled space is defined by the UConn Policy and Procedures website as any indoor area owned or controlled by the University or any outdoor area owned or controlled by the University with limited use or access.
“The University welcomes the presence of service animals assisting people with disabilities on its campuses consistent with the provisions of this policy and applicable law. A service animal is generally permitted to be on University property in any place where the animal’s handler is permitted to be,” the Policy and Procedures website says.
Service animals in training are allowed by Connecticut law to enter public spaces but are not allowed in controlled spaces including classrooms, residence halls and employee work areas.
Individuals training a service animal must carry photo identification indicating their authorization to train the animal.
ESAs are permitted to stay in their individual owner’s assigned living accommodations. An ESA outside of its owner’s own living accommodations must be in an animal carrier or controlled by a leash or harness. They are allowed to be in other public areas to the same extent as pets.
Service animals in training and ESAs must be supervised directly by their handler, who must retain control of their animal at all times.
The Policy and Procedures website says, “The animal must be in an animal carrier or controlled by a harness, leash or tether, unless these devices interfere with the animal’s work, the individual’s disability prevents using these devices, or the animal is an ESA within the handler’s own dwelling.”
Animals cannot be left unattended at any time on University property, except for service animals left in the handler’s University residence or private office space or ESAs left in the handler’s dwelling unit.
The new policy dictates that members of the University community cannot interfere in any way with a service animal or the duties it performs.
These policy changes apply to all students, employees, contractors, vendors, visitors, guests and other third parties on all UConn campuses, according to the UConn Policy and Procedures website.
The policy can be read in full at http://policy.uconn.edu/2017/06/12/animals-on-campus/. For more information, contact the Office of Institutional Equity at (860) 486 2943 or (860) 679 3563.
Gabriella DeBenedictis is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.