Access Center

Service Animal Guidelines

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 the legislation here for exceptions, which includes trained service animals.

Disabled individuals may be accompanied by their service animals on all Washington State University campuses where members of the public or participants in services, programs or activities are allowed to go. A service animal is defined by the federal government as any dog or miniature horse that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of individuals with physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental conditions. If a dog meets this definition, it is considered a service dog regardless of whether it has been licensed or certified by a state or local government or a training program.  If a student plans to live in university housing with a service animal, the student must inform both the Access Center and WSU Housing.

Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals.

The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual's impairment. Examples of such tasks include, but are not limited to:

  • Assisting an individual with low vision with navigation
  • Alerting individuals who are hard of hearing to the presence of people or objects
  • Retrieving items
  • Providing assistance with stability or balance to an individual with a mobility impairment
  • Federal law does not require the individual to provide documentation that an animal has been trained as a service animal.
  • The University may, however, ask if the animal is required because of impairment, as well as what work or task the animal has been trained to perform. (NOTE: providing comfort is not considered work or a task.)

Exclusions of service dogs are determined on an individualized basis and when one of the following conditions exist:

  • The dog is disruptive and not effectively controlled.
  • The presence of the service dog would fundamentally change the nature of the classroom, course or activity.
  • The service dog's presence, behavior, or actions pose an unreasonable or direct threat to property and/or the health or safety of others. (Service animals are not allowed in animal science labs and have limited access within the College of Veterinary Medicine/Veterinary Hospital).
  • The dog is not housebroken.

When circumstances arise which would justify evaluating the presence of a service dog, the university will employ the following criteria:

  • The student using the service dog is disabled
  • The dog is a service dog
  • The dog is trained to perform certain tasks related to the individuals' impairment

The University is not responsible for the care or supervision of a service dog.

Individuals are responsible for:

  • The well-being of a service dog as well as the cost of any damages as a result of the service dog
  • 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 dogs. If a service dog, for example, exhibits unacceptable behavior, the individual is expected to employ the proper training techniques to correct the situation.
  • Harnessing, leashing, or tethering the service dog, unless an individual’s disability precludes the use of a restraint or if the restraint would interfere with the service animal's safe, effective performance of work or tasks.
  • 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, and RCW 49.60.215 for further information on Washington State laws as they pertain to service animals on campus.

Service Animals in Training

All service animals-in-training are approved through the
Office of Equal Opportunity/ ADA Coordinator’s office.  Call 509-335-8288; or email oeo@wsu.edu

Employment and Animals

WSU employees are to contact HRS regarding animals as an accommodation.  Call 509-335-4521.