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Animals on Campus


Brigham Young University–Hawaii (BYU–Hawaii or university) strives to provide an uplifting, supportive, and safe environment for all members of its campus community. In doing so, the university supports the use of service and other assistance animals on campus in compliance with applicable federal and state laws. The university also recognizes the health and safety concerns posed by unrestrained and/or untrained animals on campus. This policy establishes the rules and responsibilities associated with bringing animals on campus.


Animals are not allowed in university buildings or housing or to be brought on campus at any time except as otherwise provided under this policy. This prohibition extends to all university programs and activities, including but not limited to outreach programs, Seasider Sports, and student association activities. This policy does not apply to the following:

  • Animals involved in authorized research or as part of a museum, under the direction of the academic vice president;
  • Law enforcement animals (e.g., police dog);
  • Animals used for performance on premises or involved in a specific university-sponsored activity, such as mascots, but only as approved in advance by the line vice president with oversight over the activity;
  • Animals trained for and used by the university in a clinical therapeutic setting on campus, such as the university's Counseling Services; and,
  • Leashed pets brought on university grounds for exercise (not allowed in buildings). Care and supervision of the pet are the responsibility of owner. The owner is required to maintain control of the pet at all times; is responsible for any injury, damage, or disruptions created by the pet; and is responsible for the prompt cleanup of the pet’s waste.


3.1 Scope

This policy applies to all persons on campus property, including university employees, students, affiliates, visitors, and contractors.

3.2 Definitions

3.2.1 Assistance Animal

Means an animal that is needed to perform disability-related work, services, or tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability or provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability. For the purpose of this policy, the term Assistance Animal may include, but is not limited to, service animals, therapy animals, comfort animals, or emotional support animals that may have formal training or may be untrained and may include species other than dogs.

3.2.2 Disability

Is a physical or mental condition or impairment that substantially limits one or more of a person’s major life activities. These limitations may include caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, working, and learning.

3.2.3 Handler

Means a university student, employee, guest, or patron on campus property with a disability who is or seeks to be accompanied by an Assistance Animal.

3.2.4 Pet

Is an animal kept for personal enjoyment that does not meet the definition of Assistance Animal.

3.2.5 Service Animal

Means 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, intellectual, or other mental disability. Service Animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the individual’s disability, but it is not required that the dog have been licensed or certified by a state or local government or a training program. Neither the potential crime deterrent effects of an animal’s presence nor the provision of emotional support, comfort, or companionship by an animal constitutes work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.

3.2.6 Service Animal in Training

Is a dog that is being trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.

3.2.7 Student Housing

Includes all on-campus housing for students, including, but not limited to, hales and apartments.

3.3 Service Animals

Subject to the limitations set forth in this section, Service Animals are permitted on campus and in on-campus housing to accompany students and individuals with disabilities who participate in university programs and activities. Due to health and safety concerns, Service Animals are generally not permitted in restricted areas on campus, including but not limited to research laboratories, boiler rooms, custodial closets, facility equipment rooms, classrooms with research/demonstration animals, areas where protective clothing is required, wood and metal shops, motor pools, rooms with heavy machinery, food preparation areas, and areas outlined in state law as being inaccessible to animals. Exceptions may be granted by the University on a case-by-case basis.

Service Animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the Service Animal’s work or the Handler’s disability prevents using these devices.

The Handler must maintain control of the Service Animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls. The Handler must: (i) maintain control of the Service Animal at all times; and (ii) immediately clean up any waste from the Service Animal.

Federal laws prohibit asking about the nature or extent of a person’s disability to determine if an animal is a Service Animal. However, when it is not readily apparent that an individual has a disability or that an animal is trained to perform a task to support a person with a disability, a university employee is permitted to ask the following questions to the Handler to determine if the animal qualifies as a Service Animal:

  1. Is the animal required due to a disability?
  2. What task(s) has the animal been trained to perform?

If the Handler answers the first question in the affirmative and can describe what the animal has been trained to do, then the animal qualifies as a Service Animal. If the Handler cannot sufficiently answer the two questions above, or if the animal cannot be controlled or is not housebroken, the Handler may be requested by the university to remove his or her animal from campus.

University personnel may not ask persons using a Service Animal to demonstrate the task(s) the Service Animal has been trained to perform or to document that the Service Animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a Service Animal. Service Animals are not required to display any visible markings, including wearing vests or tags, to establish status as a Service Animal.

Any individual who misrepresents an animal to be a Service Animal may be subject to discipline under the Honor Code and/or punishment under applicable law.

3.3.1 Students with Service Animals

To facilitate appropriate acceptance of Service Animals in classrooms and other campus areas, students with Service Animals are strongly encouraged to notify and work with the disability services coordinator, which may provide the student with Service Animal clearance documentation that establishes his/her need for the Service Animal and can be presented if desired and in place of answering any questions about the animal’s purpose. A Service Animal may not be excluded from campus because its Handler does not have such clearance documentation.

    3.3.2 Service Animals in Training

    An animal being trained as a Service Animal has all the same rights as a fully trained Service Animal when accompanied by a trainer on campus and in on-campus housing. The handlers of Service Animals in Training must comply with the portions of this policy applicable to Service Animals. As a general rule, employees (including student employees) are not permitted to have a Service Animal in Training accompany them on campus while they are working.

    3.4 Assistance Animals

    Outside of uses explicitly authorized herein, employees, students, guests, and patrons of the university are prohibited at all times from bringing Assistance Animals on campus property. Any exceptions to this prohibition must be pursued in the form of an accommodation request to the disability services coordinator or, in the case of an employee, to Human Resources.

    3.4.1 Assistance Animals in Student Housing

    A Handler who is, or has been, approved for student housing may request an accommodation to have an Assistance Animal reside with him or her in student housing.

    Such requests must be submitted to the Disability Services Coordinator, preferably at least thirty (30) days prior to bringing the animal on campus. The disability services coordinator and Residential Life will review each requested accommodation on a case-by-case basis to determine if the request for an Assistance Animal is reasonable. Factors considered include, but are not limited to, the health and safety of potential roommates in the dwelling unit including conflicting disabilities (e.g., allergies) and other requests for accommodations. Residential Life will have the final decision on any request for an Assistance Animal in student housing.

    If a request for an Assistance Animal accommodation is granted, the following will apply:

    • The Handler will be permitted to have only one Assistance Animal at a time.
    • Unless otherwise provided herein, Assistance Animals are not allowed in any university facilities other than the Student Housing unit to which the Handler is assigned.
    • Care and supervision of the Assistance Animal are the responsibility of Handler. The Handler is required to maintain control of the Assistance Animal at all times, where consistent with the Handler’s capacity. The Handler is also responsible for ensuring: (a) that the Assistance Animal does not make excessive noise or display behavior that disrupts or unduly interferes with the routine activities of other community members; and (b) the prompt cleanup of the Assistance Animal’s waste and, when appropriate, must toilet the Assistance Animal in areas designated by the university reasonably consistent with the capacity of the Handler.
    • The Handler must ensure that the Assistance Animal is current on immunizations and vaccines required by local ordinances and regulations, all documentation supporting the health and safety of the Assistance Animal is readily available for immediate review, upon request, and all local licensing and tagging requirements are followed.
    • Assistance Animals other than cats and dogs must have an annual clean bill of health from a licensed veterinarian, documentation of which must be immediately available by the Handler upon request.
    • The university has the authority to direct the Handler to provide the Assistance Animal with veterinary attention, at Handler’s own cost, if needed and as applicable.
    • If a dog, the Assistance Animal must be on a leash, unless the leash would inhibit the dog’s ability to be of service. When a leash is not appropriate, the Handler must maintain control of the Assistance Animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.
    • Disability services coordinator or Residential Life may place other reasonable conditions or restrictions on the Assistance Animal depending on the nature and characteristics of the animal.
    • The Handler is responsible for any additional cleaning or damage to persons or university property, beyond normal wear and tear, caused by his/her Assistance Animal (including fleas, pests, etc., attributable to the Assistance Animal).

    On a case-by-case basis, disability services coordinator or Residential Life may place other reasonable conditions or restrictions on Assistance Animals.

    3.5 Conflicting Disabilities Between Residents of Student Housing

    Residential Life personnel will make a reasonable effort to notify tenants in the residence building where an Assistance Animal will be located.

    Students with medical conditions that are affected by animals (e.g., respiratory diseases, asthma, allergies) should contact disability services coordinator if they have a health or safety concern about exposure to an Assistance Animal and provide medical documentation that identifies the condition(s), states whether the condition is disabling, and specifies a request for an accommodation (e.g., an animal-free environment). The individual with the conflicting disability will also be asked to fill out a Housing Accommodation Request Form and to call disability services coordinator to schedule an appointment.

    Disability services coordinator and Residential Life will strive to resolve any conflict in a timely manner, considering the conflicting needs and/or accommodations of all persons involved.

    Disability services coordinator and Residential Life may consult with the university student health center as a resource for information on health issues. Moreover, such resolution may include relocating residents with Assistance Animals and/or the student(s) with the conflicting disabilities.

    Notwithstanding the foregoing, the university retains the right to designate certain university apartments and/or buildings as appropriate for residents with Assistance Animals.

    3.5.1 Employees Seeking the Use of an Assistance Animal

    Any other documentation requested by Human Resources related to the requested accommodation.

    An employee with a disability who requires the use of an Assistance Animal to perform the essential functions of his or her job must contact Human Resources to request an accommodation. Human Resources will have the final decision on any request for accommodation. In requesting an Assistance Animal work accommodation, the employee must provide documentation of the following:

    • His/her disability,
    • The work or tasks the animal has been trained to do,
    • Current animal vaccinations and licensing, and
    • Any other documentation requested by Human Resources related to the requested accommodation.

    3.5.2 Treatment of Assistance Animals

    When interacting with Assistance Animals and their Handlers, members of the university community should not do any of the following:

    • Touch an Assistance Animal unless invited to do so
    • Feed an Assistance Animal
    • Deliberately startle an Assistance Animal
    • Separate or attempt to separate a Handler from his or her Assistance Animal
    • Ask for details about the Handler’s disability

    3.5.3 Removal of Assistance Animals

    The university may exclude or remove any Assistance Animal when it:

    • Poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others; or
    • Results in a fundamental alteration of the university’s program.

    In student housing units, for example, a fundamental alteration may occur if the animal’s behavior prevents other tenants from enjoying full use of the property (e.g., through frequent barking). Any Handler who cannot control his/her Assistance Animal and who will not willingly remove their animal from campus upon request may be referred to the university’s Campus Safety & Security.

    3.6 Feral or Wild Animals

    No person may do anything to attract feral or wild animals to campus, nor may any person feed or set out food or water for feral or wild animals on campus or engage in any other human intervention, without authorization from the operations vice president. Human intervention includes, but is not limited to, feeding, watering, building of shelters for animals, and providing medication. Feral or wild animals that are a potential risk, represent a hazard, cause property damage, create a nuisance, or otherwise pose a potential threat to the health or safety of humans may be regulated, controlled, and/or humanely relocated in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations


    Accommodation of Persons with Disabilities Policy


    Policy Owner: Employee Relations Manager

    Executive Sponsors: Administrative Vice President (employees);
    Student Life Vice President

    Approved by President’s Council: 5/3/2019

    Modified Date: 03/01/2023

    Modified Date: 08/21/2023

    Next review: 09/02/2024

    Full revision history maintained by the Office of Compliance & Ethics.