Animals on Campus

Lafayette College recognizes the importance of service and emotional support animals to individuals with disabilities and has established policies to guide the presence of service and emotional support animals on campus.

The College prohibits pets and other animals in College housing. The policies below provide mechanisms for an individual with a disability to seek a reasonable accommodation to that prohibition. If you are an individual with a disability and have a service animal or emotional support animal, please review the relevant information below. A person with a disability is defined as someone who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

Service Animals

  • Lafayette College recognizes the importance of “Service Animals” as defined by The Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAAA) which defines service animals as “dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or tasks a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability.”  A service dog can be any breed or size. It might wear specialized equipment such as a backpack, harness, or special collar or leash, but this is not a legal requirement.  If a dog 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.
  • A student with a documented disability does not need an accommodation to have a service animal on campus, but they are recommended to notify Accessibility Services prior to bringing the animal on campus. Accessibility Services will notify various campus community members (Residence Life, Public Safety, Dining Services, and the student’s faculty) of the animal’s presence on campus. Service animals are permitted anywhere on campus that students are permitted.
  • The United States Department of Justice has created a helpful resource about service animals in public and private settings, which addresses some questions and concerns about what Federal Law allows with regard to service animals. Please visit the U.S. Department of Justice ADA Publication on Service Animals to learn more.
  • Lafayette Service Animal Policy

Emotional Support Animals

  • Lafayette College recognizes the importance of Emotional Support Animals (ESA) supported by the Fair Housing Act. Lafayette is committed to allowing committed to allowing ESAs, necessary to provide individuals with mental health disabilities an equal opportunity to use and enjoy College housing.
  • An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is an animal that provides therapeutic emotional support for an individual with a diagnosed mental health disability.  Unlike Service Animals that are trained to perform specific tasks that are important to the independence or safety of their disabled handler, ESAs are generally not trained to perform disability-specific tasks.  Their therapeutic support is a function of their presence and interaction with the person with a disability.  ESAs are not pets, but they typically are animals commonly kept in households as pets.
  • Students who wish to request an Emotional Support Animal as an accommodation must initiate the accommodation request process.
  • Students are not permitted to bring an animal to campus until the ESA process has been completed and the student has been notified that they are approved for an ESA. Doing so may result in a Student Code of Conduct violation.

Requesting an Emotional Support Animal in College Housing

An emotional support animal is considered a housing accommodation. ESA requests for the next academic year must be submitted by February 15 (current students) or June 1 (incoming first-year students). Requests not made within a reasonable time frame may result in the College not being able to provide the requested accommodation.

Steps to Request an Emotional Support Animal 

  1. Review the Emotional Support Animal Policy  and discuss it with your treatment provider
  2. Submit a completed Student Intake Form
    Please submit the form via email to
  3. Provide supporting documentation completed by a treatment provider. Accessibility Services offers the  Emotional Support Animal Request Form as a guide and convenience
    Please have your provider submit the form/documentation via email to
  4. Submitted information is reviewed
    Student information will be reviewed on an individual, case-by-case basis. After the review, Accessibility Services will contact the student to set up an appointment to discuss the request. If you have not heard from Accessibility Services within 10 business days of submitting the information please contact the office at to check on the status of your request.
  5. Meet with Accessibility Services for an Intake Interview
    The student will meet with an Accessibility Services staff member to discuss the request, policies, and procedures.