Category: Student Affairs
Title: Student Policy Regarding Animals
Related Policies: Student Code of Conduct , Civil Rights Policy
Responsible Official: Assistant Dean of Students for Accessibility Services & Academic Success
Contents of this Policy:
CMC seeks to create a living and learning environment for students that is conducive to development, interaction, and a healthy well-being for all students living in a communal space. No pets or animals, other than fish in a maximum of one, 10-gallon tank per student are allowed in student rooms. Animals/pets other than fish constitute a violation of the Residence Hall License Agreement which all CMC students sign upon entering CMC. Possession of an unapproved animal on campus may result in disciplinary action through the CMC student conduct process.
Animals, with the exclusion of service animals, that are not approved by the Assistant Dean of Students for Accessibility Services & Academic Success are not allowed in residential buildings, unless specifically approved for an event or other special circumstance. Violations of this include pet sitting for an outside person and/or other animals that are approved or not approved to live on campus.
Students with an unapproved animal(s) in on-campus housing will be in violation of the Student Code of Conduct and the Residence Hall License Agreement, and will be subject to disciplinary action. Animals brought to campus without prior approval must be removed within 24 hours until appropriate approval is granted. Failure to remove the animal from campus within 24 hours will result in a further CMC Student Code of Conduct violation which may result in disciplinary action through the student conduct process.
Service & Emotional Support Animals
CMC will permit service animals and emotional support animals in on-campus housing as a reasonable accommodation through the process described below.
Some CMC students with disabilities may be prescribed and/or require the use of a service animal or an emotional support animal. Determination of whether an emotional support animal will be permitted in on-campus housing is made on a case-by-case basis, through an interactive process involving the individual requesting the accommodation and relevant campus personnel. In all cases, the needs of the individual are balanced with the impact of an animal on other campus residents and patrons. See below for more information regarding these types of animals.
- Emergency Contact: individual who has been identified by the Handler who will remove, care for, and take responsibility for the animal off-campus when the Handler is away from campus or otherwise unable to care for the animal.
- Emotional Support Animal: any animal that is specifically designated by a qualified professional as affording an individual with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling, provided there is a nexus between the individual’s disability and the assistance the animal provides.
- Handler: an individual with a disability who utilizes a service animal or ESA.
- Pet: any animal that is not trained or employed as a service animal or emotional support animal by the handler/owner.
- Service Animal: a service animal is defined as a dog, or in some cases a miniature horse, that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the animal must be directly related to the person’s disability. Animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a service animal is defined as a dog, or in some cases a miniature horse, that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the animal must be directly related to the person’s disability. Animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals. Examples of such work or tasks conducted by a service animal include but are not limited to:
- Guiding a person who is blind
- Alerting a person who is deaf
- Retrieving items for a person using a wheelchair
- Alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure
Service animals are not considered pets as they provide an essential function for their handler. If a student has a service animal, they are not required to register their animal with the Office of Accessibility Servies. CMC requests that students with service animals notify the Assistant Dean of Students for Accessibility Services & Academic Success of their animal. The handler will then have a meeting with the Assistant Dean of Students for Accessibility Services & Academic Success. The purpose of the meeting shall be to develop a support plan for the student and animal, to make living arrangements, and to ensure that the appropriate offices are notified of the animal. Students may be asked for further documentation when a student’s disability and the work or tasks performed by the service animal are not readily apparent. In these cases, CMC may ask (1) whether the service animal is required because of a disability; and (2) what work or tasks the animal has been trained to perform.
Service animals are generally permitted to accompany their handlers anywhere their handlers are permitted on campus, except those areas where animals are specifically prohibitied because of health and safety restrictions. Restricted areas may include, but are not limited to: custodial closets, boiler rooms, facility equipment rooms, research laboratories, classrooms with research/demonstration animals, areas where protective clothing is necessary, food preparation areas including kitchens operated by Dining Services, International Place, or student kitchens in residence halls and areas outlined in state law as being inaccessible to animals. If a student with a service animal must access any of these spaces with their animal, they should first reach out to the Assistant Dean of Students for Accessibility Services & Academic Success to ensure proper safety measures are in place.
False representation of a service animal is a violation of California Penal Code 365.7. A student found to have falsely represented a service animal will be in violation of the CMC Student Code of Conduct and will face disciplinary action through the student conduct process.
Emotional Support Animals (ESA)
Under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is an animal that provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s qualified disability. ESAs are not pets and are not considered service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); rather, they are animals that have been prescribed to provide necessary support or companionship to a person with a qualifying disability.
Things to consider when contemplating an Emotional Support Animal as an accommodation in on-campus housing:
- Time and obligation related to care of specific species
- Time allocation and management while away from the animal, student schedule, lifestyle, and other responsibilities
- Age, size, and physical needs of specific species
- Financial implication of such a commitment such as food, supplies, vaccinations or veterinarian visits
- Previous ownership of species or anxiety an animal may experience in a new environment
- Caring for the animal during school breaks
- Traveling and transport of the animal
- Awareness of the current College policies regarding ESA and adherence to them
- Training of animal (housebroken or litter trained)
- Ideal time to bring the animal to campus
Process for Requesting an ESA
A qualified student with a disability, (i.e., has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities) who is requesting an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) should request a meeting with the Assistant Dean of Students for Accessibility Services & Academic Success. The student shall submit their request for accommodations through the AIM portal along with the completed CMC ESA Provider Verification Form explaining how the animal will be necessary to offer the student equal opportunity to access and enjoy Claremont McKenna College on-campus housing in a way that would not otherwise be possible. A student is not permitted to live with an ESA on campus until given written approval by the Assistant Dean of Students for Accessibility Services & Academic Success.
No ESA may be in on-campus housing prior to being approved as a reasonable accommodation through Accessibility Services. ESA requests must be made 60 business days before the student intends on bringing the animal to campus to allow for proper arrangements to be made. To request an ESA as an accommodation, you will be asked to provide documentation from an appropriate, qualified professional that:
- Verifies the student’s disability and gives an explanation of its impact on one or more of the student’s major life activities
- Affirms that having the animal described alleviates identified symptoms of the disability or serves a defined role in treatment
- Affirms that having the animal in residence is necessary for the student to effectively benefit from CMC’s on-campus housing program.
- Includes the name, license number, contact information, address, signature, and date of documentation from a qualified professional that is legally able to make a determination regarding a student’s diagnosis.
The provider should complete the CMC ESA Provider Form which requests all of the necessary information for the request. The accommodation may not be granted if the animal would cause substantial physical damage to the property of others, would pose an undue financial or administrative burden, or would fundamentally alter the nature of CMC’s operations.
The handler of an ESA is required to sign an Emotional Support Animal Residential Agreement with the Office of Residential Life, prior to bringing their approved ESA to campus. By signing this agreement, the handler is committing to abide by this policy in addition to all, county and state laws regarding animal ownership and welfare.
The emotional support animal is restricted to the Handler’s room and to going outside (leashed) for natural relief. Emotional support animals must be confined to crates or cages when the handler is not with them in their room. ESAs are not permitted in common areas, academic spaces, etc.
A student may request accommodations at any point during the year, even after the school year has started. There is a 15 business day waiting period for the office to process and review the request and documentation once they have been received. The accommodations will not be immediately available upon submission and review. The process of requesting and applying accommodations is 60 business days from when the request and supporting documentation has been submitted. Accommodations cannot be applied retroactively.
Students must submit an updated request for an ESA each academic year for which they are requesting a housing accommodation.
Approved Owner’s (Handler’s) Responsibilities in CMC On-Campus Housing
Handlers are responsible for their animals at all times. The handler is solely responsible for:
- Control of the animal on campus
- Compliance with local laws pertaining to leashing, animal licensing & registration, vaccinations, and owner identification
- The feeding and care of the animal, including any associated costs, such as inspecting for fleas and ticks, etc.
- CMC reserves the right to inspect for fleas, ticks, etc., and to fumigate the residence at the handler’s expense as necessary beyond the standard room cleaning.
- Cleaning up after the animal, including the sanitary disposal of animal wastes
- Any property damage caused by the animal
- The behavior of the animal in private and public places
- Due care and diligence in the use of the animal on campus
All handlers are required annually to provide documentation that their animal complies with all local laws pertaining to leashing, animal licensing & registration, vaccinations, and owner identification. A vaccination certificate or letter indicating an up-to-date rabies vaccination from your veterinary health provider will be required. See the Claremont Municipal Code for current local laws.
The student will be required to have two meetings in order to maintain approval for the ESA.
- Meeting with the Assistant Dean of Students for Accessibility Services & Academic Success. This meeting shall occur within five business days prior to you coming to campus with the animal. The meeting will be hosted virtually. The animal should accompany you to the meeting. You will read through and discuss the CMC Student Policy Regarding Animals and sign the ESA Contract.
- Meeting with the Assistant Dean of Students & Director of Residential Life. This meeting shall occur within five business days of you coming to campus with the animal. If it is the beginning of the fall semester, the meeting must occur by the end of the first week of classes. The animal should not accompany you to this meeting. You will read through, discuss, and sign a copy of the Emotional Support Animal Residential Agreement. If your ESA is a dog or cat, you must bring a copy of the animal’s license and registration.
Resources for Animal Handlers
Removal of Approved Animal
A handler may be required to remove their service animal or ESA if:
- The animal poses or has posed a direct threat to the student or others, such as aggressive behavior.
- The animal causes significant property damage.
- The animal is out of control and effective action is not taken to control it.
- The animal is not housebroken (or in the case of an animal that deposits waste in a designated cage or litter box, the handler fails to clean said cage or box such that the cleanliness of the room is not maintained).
- The animal has been abandoned (left unattended overnight in campus housing);
- Handlers are responsible for the immediate removal of the animal from campus if the handler is leaving campus overnight. Animals may not be left unattended overnight in on-campus housing or with another student living on campus. Animals must be taken off campus by the designated emergency contact when the handler will not be on campus. Animals found to not be in compliance may result in the animals being deemed abandoned because they are not in the care of the handler, and as a result may be removed from campus for the health and safety of the animal.
- The animal is left with another student on campus.
- The animal is out of compliance with local laws pertaining to leashing, animal licensing & registration, vaccinations, and owner identification.
- The handler does not comply with stated responsibilities or policies.
- The animal or its presence creates an unmanageable disturbance or interference within the college community, or results in a fundamental alteration of the College’s program.
If, for one or more of the above violations, the animal is excluded or removed from on-campus housing, the student, but not the animal, will remain welcome on campus and CMC will engage in discussion with the student to determine if the student can identify an alternative form of accommodation.
In considering whether an animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, the College will make an individualized assessment based on reasonable judgment. If the student is told to remove the animal from the campus and has not done so within 24 hours, the College reserves the right to remove the animal. The student will then be reported for a violation of the CMC Student Code of Conduct .
A violation of the CMC Policy Regarding Animals is considered to be a violation of the CMC Student Code of Conduct and other relevant College policies.
Concerns and/or Complaints
Concerns and/or complaints regarding a particular animal in the residence halls and on campus (for example, regarding excessive noise, cleanliness problems, or aggressive behavior) may be made to the Office of Residential Life.
In cases of immediate danger, which may occur when the approved animal is out of control or poses a threat of serious injury, observers should contact Campus Safety at 909-607-2000.
If the Assistant Dean of Students for Accessibility Services & Academic Success finds that a requested ESA is not necessary and/or reasonable, the student may file a written appeal with the CMC Chief Civil Rights Officer within five (5) business days of the denial. See the Civil Rights Policy for more information.
Upon receipt of the appeal, the Chief Civil Rights Offier or designee will review all of the relevant information and provide a written response within five (5) business days granting the appeal and modifying the initial decision, or denying the appeal and maintaining the initial decision. The decision of the Chief Civil Rights Officer shall be final.
Claremont McKenna College reserves the right to revise this policy at any time, as circumstances require.
Emotional Support Animal Handler’s Contract
Emergency Contact Information
An emergency contact for an emotional support animal is an individual who lives off-campus and has been identified by the Handler as someone who can remove, care, and take responsibility for the animal off-campus when the Handler is away from campus or otherwise unable to care for the animal. This person will be contacted by the College should the animal need to be removed from campus.
Name (Print first and last name):
Relationship to Handler:
Cell Phone Number:
By my signature below, I verify that I have read, understand, and wll abide by this CMC Policy, including but not limited to the animal care and control requirements specified in this CMC Policy and as further required by the laws of the County of Los Angeles and the City of Claremont. I acknowledge that bringing an animal into on-campus housing involves taking a serious responsibility for both the animal and its well-being and to other members of the campus community in regard to theirs. I understand that failing to abide by the applicable terms of the CMC Policy Regarding Animals may be a violation of the CMC Student Code of Conduct and a violation of the CMC Residence Hall License Agreement.
Students will complete, sign, and date the ESA Handler’s Contract after their intake meeting with the Assistant Dean of Students for Accessibility Services & Academic Success.