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Animals on Campus

I.  PURPOSE

The mission of Isothermal Community College is focused on learning.  For this reason, any disruptions or threats that impede another person’s ability to learn on the campus and centers of Isothermal Community College are prohibited.  To ensure the safety of employees, students and visitors, and to prevent the disruption of the educational process, these guidelines must be followed.

II. DEFINITIONS

Domestic Animal means an animal that is a member of a species that is normally dependent on humans for food and shelter, including dogs, cats, and other common domestic animals.

Service Animal is any dog or other animal as defined by the American with Disabilities Act that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.  The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler’s disability.  The potential crime deterrent effects of an animal’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.

Service animal-in-training means an animal that is brought to campus by a trainer for the purpose of training the animal to become a service animal for individuals with disabilities and is allowed in accordance with N.C. G.S., 168-4.2.B and the provisions of this policy. 

III.  DOMESTIC ANIMALS

Domestic animals are permitted on College grounds, but not permitted to enter any college building.  The owner must adhere to the responsibilities outlined in this policy. 

IV.  PLACES OF ACCESS

Service animals and service animals-in-training are permitted to accompany students and visitors with disabilities and student/visitor trainers in all areas of the College’s campuses where the individual is normally allowed to go.  Animals approved as part of an accommodation by the Accessibility Counselor and service animals-in-training are permitted to accompany employees with disabilities and employee trainers in all areas of the College’s campuses where the employee is normally allowed to go.  However, the College may prohibit the presence of animals in certain locations where health or safety restrictions prevent their presence, where animals may be in danger, or where the presence of animals may cause health issues, for example: laboratories, food preparation areas, mechanical rooms, or other places where the health or safety of others may be compromised.

Based on the location being considered, the appropriate office will be consulted when determining if the presence of the animal can be allowed.  If the animal cannot be present, every effort will be made to provide reasonable accommodations to help the individual have equal access to the required tasks.

V. REQUIREMENTS

No request by a student or visitor to bring a service animal on campus is required, and no documentation supporting the need for a service animal is required.  A student or visitor does not need to register the service animal with College in order to be accompanied by a service animal.  However, when the need for a service animal by a student or visitor is not readily apparent, College staff may make the following two inquiries of the individual:

  1. Is the animal required because of a disability?
  2. What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?

Although not required to do so, students and visitors who wish to bring service animals to campus are encouraged to voluntarily make that known to the Office of Accessibility (for students) or the Office of Human Resources (for visitors).  Advance notice can allow for effective communication with College staff and more flexibility in meeting an individual’s specific needs.

Visiting trainers must provide prior documentation to the Office of Human Resources demonstrating that the animal is a service animal-in-training and must adhere to the responsibilities outlined in this policy.

An animal will not be permitted on campus if it behaves in a way that poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, has a history of such behavior, or is not under the control of the owner/handler.

VI.  RULES AND RESPONSIBILITIES REGARDING ANIMALS ON CAMPUS

A.  Responsibility for the Animal

a. The owner/handler is fully responsible for:

i.  The care and supervision of the animal (including toileting, feeding, grooming, veterinary care, and the cleaning up after the animal and including any associated costs);

ii.  The well-being of the animal; and

iii.  Any damage or injury caused by the animal

b.  Evidence of mistreatment or abuse may result in immediate removal of the animal and/or discipline for the owner/handler.

B.  Animal Health and Hygiene

a.  Animals must be current on all state and local vaccination requirements.  The College may, in its discretion, require the owner/handler to provide documentation establishing that such vaccination requirements have been met.

b.  Animals must be housebroken.

C.  Control over the Animal

a.  The owner/handler must be in full control of the animal at all times; the animal may not be left unattended at any time.

b.  An animal must have a harness, leash, or other tether, unless either the owner/handler is unable because of a disability to use a harness, leash, or other tether, or the use of a harness, leash or other tether would interfere with the animal’s safe, effective performance of work or tasks, in which case the animal must be otherwise under the owner’s /handler’s control (e.g. voice control, signals, or other effective means).

c.  Upon approval of the President (or designee), an animal may be removed from campus if it is out of control (e.g. uncontrolled barking, wandering, displaying aggressive behavior) and the owner/handler does not take effective action to control it; if it poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others; or if it is not housebroken.

D.  Identification

a.  It is recommended but not required, that animals for individuals with disabilities wear some type of commonly recognized identification symbol indicating the animal is a working animal.

b.  A service animal-in-training must wear a collar and leash, harness, or cape that identifies the animal as a service animal-in-training.

VII.  CONFLICTS

  1. Students who come into contact with an animal on campus regularly and who experience reactions to the animal (for example, as a result of allergies or a fear of dogs) should contact the Office of Accessibility.
  2. Employees who come into contact with an animal on campus regularly and who experience reactions to the animal (for example, as a result of allergies or a fear of dogs) should contact the Office of Human Resources.

Policy Number: 802-02-05AP

Adopted: November 19, 2018