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Business Policy and Procedure Manual
University of Missouri-Columbia
April 2010
Chapter 1
Section: 1:076
Service Animals

Service Animal Policies and Procedures

It is the policy of the University of Missouri (MU) that service animals assisting individuals with disabilities are generally permitted in all MU facilities and programs with some exceptions (see also BPPM 1:075), as described below.


Disability: The basic definition of a disability in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is, with respect to an individual, a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual, a record of such an impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment. In September of 2008, the President signed a law amending the ADA to broaden coverage of individuals to the maximum extent permitted by the terms of the ADA. The effect of these changes is to make it easier for an individual seeking protection under the ADA to establish that he or she has a disability within the meaning of the ADA. For details, please see

Service Animal: MU has adopted the following definition, which is from the U. S. Department of Justice. A service animal is any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items.

A Missouri statute at provides the following guidance on service animals:

(2) "Service dog", a dog that is being or has been specially trained to do work or perform tasks which benefit a particular person with a disability. Service dog includes:
(a) "Guide dog", a dog that is being or has been specially trained to assist a particular blind or visually impaired person;
(b) "Hearing dog", a dog that is being or has been specially trained to assist a particular deaf or hearing-impaired person;
(c) "Medical alert or respond dog", a dog that is being or has been trained to alert a person with a disability that a particular medical event is about to occur or to respond to a medical event that has occurred;
(d) "Mobility dog", a dog that is being or has been specially trained to assist a person with a disability caused by physical impairments.


Service animals accompanying individuals with disabilities are welcome in all areas of campus that are open to the public (except in situations determined to apply under the section below about excluding service animals). Specific questions related to the use of service animals on the Missouri campus by visitors can be directed to the ADA Coordinator at, or 573.884.7278.

Students / Faculty and Staff
Anyone with a disability requesting an exception to MUís pet policy, Pets on University Property as an accommodation or wishing to be accompanied by a service animal at work, in the classroom, or in a living space on campus must follow the procedures to request a reasonable accommodation as outlined below. The appropriate campus offices will determine the reasonableness of the accommodation for programs, services and activities based upon the following:

  • The presence of a disability
  • Whether or not an animal is a service animal
  • Determining the tasks of the animal

Other factors will be considered depending on the nature of the accommodation request and anticipated areas of access. Documentation may be requested to substantiate the presence of a disability as well as to provide sufficient information to confirm the animalís role.

Student requests for disability accommodations, including requests to have an animal accompany a student on campus, in classrooms, and in MU housing, are determined by the Disability Center, through an accommodation request and review process, in consultation with faculty, Residential Life, and/or other MU officials who may be involved in implementing the requested accommodation. The Disability Center can be contacted by phone at 573.882.4696, or by email at

Faculty and staff requests for disability accommodations, including requests to have an animal at work, are handled through the Office of the ADA Coordinator,, in consultation with Human Resource Services and the employing unit. Please also see

Appeals and Grievances
Any person dissatisfied with a decision concerning the above may use available grievance procedures. Visitors should first contact the ADA Coordinator (see above). Student grievance procedures are described at: Faculty grievance procedures are described at: Staff grievance procedures are described at: Any aggrieved party may also contact the MU Equity Office,


An animal may be excluded from an MU facility or program

  • If the animalís behavior or presence poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others or to the animal itself. For example, an animal that displays vicious behavior towards people may be excluded or an animal may be excluded from such areas as mechanical rooms, machine shops or laboratories.
  • When the presence of an animal fundamentally alters the nature of a program or activity or is disruptive. Examples may include, but are not limited to research labs, areas requiring protective clothing, food preparation areas, and primate labs.
  • For other legitimate non-discriminatory reasons.
  • For failure to comply with this policy and/or other relevant policies as applicable.
Questions related to the use of service animals on campus should be directed to the ADA Coordinator at 573.884.7278.

Owners/keepers must comply with applicable state laws and city ordinances regarding animals. Please see in particular

Vaccination: As a minimum, animals must be immunized against diseases common to that type of animal. All vaccinations must be current. Dogs must wear a rabies vaccination tag. The vaccinations considered ďCoreĒ by the American Animal Hospital Association for dogs are required. For access to these Guidelines visit: For vaccinations of other species please contact the Current Chair of the Veterinary Medicine and Surgery Department of the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Licensing: Animals must be properly licensed.

Owner ID and other tags: Animals must wear an owner identification tag and a Rabies vaccination tag at all times.

Leash: Dogs and cats must be on a leash at all times, unless impracticable or unfeasible due to owner/keeperís disability.

Under control: The owner/keeper of an animal must be in full control of the animal at all times. The care and supervision of an animal is solely the responsibility of the owner/keeper.

Cleanup rule: The owner/keeper of an animal is responsible for cleaning up of all animal waste.

Health: Animals to be housed in University housing must have an annual clean bill of health from a licensed veterinarian.

Additionally any animal with signs of illness, including but not limited to a known zoonotic disease (a disease of animals, such as rabies or psittacosis, that can be transmitted to humans), diarrhea, vomiting, fever or open sores should not be on campus until deemed non-infectious/contagious by the written statement of a Missouri licensed veterinarian.


Lee Henson, ADA Coordinator
465 McReynolds Hall
573.884.7278 voice and relay

Barbara Hammer, Director
Disability Center
S5 Memorial Union
573.882.4696 Voice
573.882.8054 TTY

Noel English, Director
MU Equity
S303 Memorial Union