Service animals are animals trained to assist people with disabilities in the activities of normal living. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) definition of service animals is "...any...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, altering individuals who are hearing impaired to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items." If an animal meets this definition, it is considered a service animal regardless of whether it has been licensed or certified by a state or local government or a training program.
The ADA and the University of Nevada, Reno policy allow service animals accompanying persons with disabilities to be on the University of Nevada, Reno campus. A service animal must be permitted to accompany a person with a disability everywhere on campus.
This policy differentiates "service animals" from "pets," describes types of service dogs, denotes campus locations that are off-limits to service animals, and sets behavioral guidelines for services animals.
Partner/Handler: A person with a service or therapy animal. A person with a disability is called a partner; a person with a disability is called a handler.
Pet: A domestic animal kept for pleasure or companionship. Pets are not permitted in university facilities, except the veterinary clinic.
Service Animal: Any animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability. If there is a question about whether an animal is a service animal, contact the Disability Resource Center.
Therapy/Companion Animal: An animal with good temperament and disposition, and who has reliable, predictable behavior, selected to visit people with disabilities or people who are experiencing the frailties of aging as a therapy tool. The animal may be incorporated as an integral part of a treatment process. A therapy/companion animal does not assist an individual with a disability in the activities of daily living. The therapy/companion animal does not accompany a person with a disability all the time, unlike a service animal that is almost always with its partner. Thus, a therapy/companion animal is not covered by laws protecting service animals and governing their activities.
Trainee: An animal undergoing training to become a service animal. A trainee will be housebroken and fully socialized. To be fully socialized means the animal will not, except under rare occasions, bark, yip, growl or make disruptive noises; will have a good temperament and disposition; will not be aggressive. A trainee will be under control of the handler, who may or may not have a disability. If the trainee begins to show improper behavior, the handler will act immediately to correct the animal or will remove the animal from the premises.
Disruption: The partner of an animal that is unruly or disruptive (e.g., barking, running around, bringing attention to itself) may be asked to remove the animal from university facilities. If the improper behavior happens repeatedly, the partner may be told not to bring the animal into any university facility until the partner takes significant steps to mitigate the behavior. Mitigation can include muzzling a barking animal or refresher training for both the animal and the partner.
Cleanliness: Partners with animals that are unclean, noisome and or bedraggled may be asked to leave university facilities. An animal that becomes wet from walking in the rain or mud or from being splashed on by a passing automobile, but is otherwise clean, should be considered a clean animal. Animals that shed in the spring sometimes look bedraggled. If the animal in question usually is well groomed, consider the animal tidy even though its spring coat is uneven and messy appearing or it has become wet from weather or weather-related incidents.
Research Laboratories: The natural organisms carried by dogs and other animals may negatively affect the outcome of the research. At the same time, the chemicals and/or organisms used in the research may be harmful to service animals.**
Areas Where There is a Danger to the Service Animal: Any room, including a classroom, where there are sharp metal cuttings or other sharp objects on the floor or protruding from a surface; where there is hot material on the floor; where there is a high level of dust; or where there is moving machinery is off-limits to service animals. (e.g., mechanical rooms, custodial closers, wood shops, metal/machine shops)**
**Professors may make exceptions on a case by case basis. The final decision shall be made based on the nature of research or machinery and the best interest of the animal.
Any partner dissatisfied with a decision made concerning a service animal should contact the University Equal Opportunity and Title IX office and follow the University of Nevada, Reno ADA Accommodation Appeal/Grievance Procedure.