Service & Assistance Animals

Goucher College recognizes the importance of service animals and emotional support animals to individuals with disabilities and has established requirements and guidelines concerning the presence of such animals on campus.

Service Animals

As noted by MD Department of Health: Service animals are defined 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.

Student seeking to bring their service animal to campus may be asked to participate in or submit the following:

  • Intake meeting with the Office of Accessibility (OAS) to determine: What work or task has the animal been trained to perform? Is the service animal required because of a disability?
  • Updated Vaccination records
  • Animal Registration

Emotional Support Animals (ESA)

Student seeking approval to bring their emotional support animal in the residence halls must participate in and submit the following:

After a student has completed their online request for an emotional support animal AND submitted all documentation, OAS will reach out to the student via email to arrange for an intake meeting. Accommodations are not effective until the completion of request, documentation, intake and then receipt of a decision letter from OAS.

NOTE: Students seeking to have an emotional support animal in housing must submit a request for accommodation each academic year. Animals may not be in residence prior to approval.

*In order to ensure that you receive appropriate accommodations, you must submit your fully completed accommodation request by March for Fall returning students, and by June for Fall new students. Students who are not enrolled for Fall and begin/return to Goucher for Spring, must submit their fully completed accommodation request by November. After these deadlines have passed, requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis for the academic year.

**The College does not discriminate in the provision of housing to students with disabilities. The College will provide comparable, convenient, and accessible housing to students with disabilities at the same cost as to others, and the College will make reasonable modifications to its housing policies, procedures, and practices when the modifications are necessary to avoid discrimination, unless the College can demonstrate that making the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the housing services provided by the College.