Service and Support Animals in University Housing 

The following information is provided to help define the role and the place of animals relative to facilities and residence halls at the Washington State University Pullman campus in promoting disability access. Under WAC 504-36-020, pets are not allowed in university buildings. Refer to WAC 504-36-020 for exceptions, which include trained service animals. 

Emotional Support Animals  

Federal law (Fair Housing Act) allows individuals with disabilities the presence of emotional support animals in University housing.  An individual may keep an emotional support animal as a reasonable accommodation in University housing if: 

  • The individual is disabled. 
  • The individual has presented documentation to the Access Center that describes the functional limitations of the individual’s disability. (Under the Fair Housing Act, the request for documentation is allowed.) Documentation must be from a qualified medical provider. 
  • The animal is necessary to afford the individual an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling. 
  • There is an identifiable relationship between the impairment and the animal's assistance. This is determined through documentation from a qualified medical provider. 

The Access Center will determine, after reviewing appropriate documentation and the application for Housing Accommodations, whether the animal requested is a reasonable accommodation in University housing. Housing and Residence Life is then informed of the Access Center’s recommendation. 

The University may exclude an emotional support animal from University housing if the animal is: 

  1. Not housebroken, 
  2. Would cause substantial damage to the property of others, 
  3. Would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others, 
  4. Would fundamentally alter the nature of a program or activity, or
  5. Is not being cared for by the individual. 

The University is not responsible for caring for or supervising emotional support animals. Individuals are responsible for controlling their support animals at all times and ensuring the immediate clean-up and proper disposal of all animal waste. Individuals must comply with Residence Life rules and regulations pertaining to animals in WSU Housing, all applicable federal, state and county laws and regulations, including vaccination, licensure, animal health and leash laws. 

Service Animals and Service Animals in Training

A service animal is a dog or miniature horse that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability. A service animal in training is a dog or miniature horse that is undergoing training to become a service animal. Service animals and service animals in training are generally permitted in spaces of public accommodation, i.e., areas open to students and visitors. Exclusions of service animals are determined on an individualized basis and when one of the following conditions exist: 

  • The animal is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it;
  • The animal is not housebroken;
  • The animal is in a prohibited area; or
  • The animal injures or attempts to injure a person or property.

If it is readily apparent that an animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability (e.g., a guide dog for a blind individual), WSU employees are not permitted to ask a handler any questions about the animal.

If it is not readily apparent what role or status the animal has WSU employees may ask the handler the following two questions to determine if the animal is a service animal or service animal in training:

  1. Is the animal required because of a disability?
  2. What work or task is the animal trained (or in training) to perform?

The University is not responsible for the care or supervision of a service animal or service animal in training. 

Individuals are responsible for: 

  • The well-being of their animals as well as the cost of any damages caused by the animal. 
  • The immediate clean-up and proper disposal of all animal waste. 
  • The control of the animal at all times. Reasonable behavior is expected from service animals and service animals in training. If an animal exhibits unacceptable behavior, the handler is expected to employ the proper training techniques to correct the situation. 
  • Harnessing, leashing, or tethering the animal, unless these devices interfere with the animal’s ability to do the work or perform the tasks for which the animal is trained or in training or the individual’s disability prevents use of these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or use of other effective controls. 
  • Following all requirements for the presence of animals in public places mandated by State or local ordinances (vaccination, license, animal health, leash). 
  • Refer to RCW 49.60.218, RCW 49.60.215, and 5788-S.SL for further information on Washington State laws pertaining to service animals and service animals in training on campus. 

Animals and Employment

WSU employees must contact HRS Disability Services and request reasonable accommodations for service animals or emotional support animals to accompany them in their workplaces. Employees seeking to bring service animals in training into their workplaces, must first apply and be approved for a Waiver.