Western Nevada CollegeWestern Nevada College Policies

Policy 13-2-2: Service Animal Policy

WNC Policy 13-2-2
Procedure: Service Animal Policy
Policy No.: 13-2-2
Department: Disability Support Services
Contact: Disabled Student Services Coordinator

The Americans with Disabilities Act (2010 revised guidelines), defines a service animal as a dog or miniature horse that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting individuals to an impending seizure or protecting individuals during one, alerting people who are deaf, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, pulling a wheelchair and fetching dropped items or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task an animal has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

The law distinguishes between a “service animal” and a “therapy, or emotional support animal”. A service animal is an animal with a good temperament and disposition, has reliable, predictable behavior, and is selected and trained to accompany people with disabilities. The animal may be incorporated as an integral part of a treatment process. A therapy/emotional support animal does not accompany a person with a disability at all times, unlike a service animal that is always with a person with a disability. A therapy/emotional support animal is not considered to be a service animal under this policy or applicable law.

In compliance with the ADA, service animals are welcome in all buildings on campus and may attend any class, meeting or other co-curricular event. Students with disabilities desiring to use a service animal on campus are encouraged to first contact the Disability Support Services (DSS) office to register as a student with a disability. The DSS coordinator will evaluate the disability and recommend any additional accommodations appropriate to the functional limitations of the disability based on the documentation received. Further, the student will be encouraged to participate in the voluntary registry program to which the student will be issued an identification card for the service animal.

An animal in training has the same rights as a fully trained animal when accompanied by a trainer and identified as such.

If there are any questions as to whether an animal qualifies as a service animal, determination will be made by the College’s DSS coordinator.

Per NRS 651.075 2. A place of public accommodation may:

(a) Ask a person accompanied by an animal:

  1. If the animal is a service animal or service animal in training; and
  2. What tasks the animal is trained to perform or is being trained to perform.

(b) Ask a person to remove a service animal or service animal in training if the animal:

  1. Is out of control and the person accompanying the animal fails to take effective action to control it; or
  2. Poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.

  • Section 1: Requirements
    • A. Requirements of Service Animals and Their Partners/Handlers
      • 1. Meeting: The partner/handler is encouraged to schedule an appointment to meet with the DSS coordinator. This meeting ideally will occur prior to the first day of class with the service animal. Bring vaccination records and service animal to the appointment.
      • 2. Licensing and Vaccinations: The animal must be licensed and immunized in accordance with the laws, regulations, and ordinances of the State of Nevada, City of Carson City, Douglas County, City of Fallon, City of Las Vegas or Lyon County. Licensing laws vary per city or county where the student attends classes.
      • 3. Health: The animal must be in good health. Service animals that are ill should not be taken into public areas. A partner with an ill animal may be asked to leave the college facilities.
      • 4. Leash: The service animal must be on a leash at all times (except where the dog must perform a task requiring it to travel beyond the length of the restraint, or the owner is unable to maintain the dog on a leash due to a disability).
      • 5. Under Control of the Partner/Handler: The partner/handler must be in full control of the animal at all times. The care and supervision of a service animal is solely the responsibility of its partner/handler.
      • 6. Cleanup: The partner/handler must clean up after the animal defecates. The feces must be disposed of properly either by burial or wrapped in a plastic bag and put in a waste receptacle.
        • a. Note: Individuals with disabilities who physically cannot clean up after their own service animals may not be required to. However, the individual is required to notify DSS so that other accommodations can be made.
    • B. Requirements of Faculty, Staff, and Students
      • 1. Allow a service animal to accompany the partner/handler at all times and everywhere on campus except where service animals are prohibited.
      • 2. Do not pet a service animal; petting a service animal when the animal is working distracts the animal from the task at hand
      • 3. Do not feed a service animal.
      • 4. Do not deliberately startle a service animal.
      • 5. Do not separate or attempt to separate a partner/handler from his or her service animal.
    • C. When a Service Animal Can Be Asked to Leave
      • 1. Disruption: The partner/handler 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 the college's facilities. If the improper behavior happens repeatedly, the partner/handler may be told not to bring the service animal into the facility until they take significant steps to mitigate the behavior. Mitigation can include muzzling a barking animal or refresher training for the animal and its owner. Proof of these mitigating efforts will be provided to DSS before the animal will be allowed back on campus.
      • 2. Partners/handlers with animals that are unclean, noisome, and/or bedraggled may be asked to leave college facilities. An animal that becomes wet from walking in the rain or mud or from being splashed 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.
  • Section 2: Areas Off Limits to Service Animals
    • A. Research Laboratories:
      • 1. 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.
    • B. Areas Where There is a Danger to the Service Animal:
      • 1. 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.
  • Section 3: Grievances
    • A. Any partner/handler dissatisfied with a decision made concerning a service animal should contact the Dean of Student Services and follow the WNC grievance procedure.
Date Adopted and Dates Revised
Date Adopted November 21, 2006 Dates Revised October 6, 2015; September 2, 2008
Please direct comments about this page to the Assistant to the President
URL: http://www.wnc.edu/policymanual/13-2-2.php
Date Printed: November 26, 2015