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

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) defines service animals as “dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.” This includes individuals with physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disabilities.  According to the ADA, “the work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to a person’s disability.”
  • 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.

Emotional Support Animals

  • Emotional Support Animals are not defined under the ADA, as these animals are not specifically trained to assist individuals with disabilities. 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 mental health disability. There must be an identifiable and medically indicated relationship between the individual’s mental health disability and the emotional support the animal provides. Unlike a service animal, an emotional support animal does not assist a person with a disability with activities of daily living.
  • Students who wish to request an Emotional Support Animal as an accommodation must initiate the accommodation request process.

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 March 1 (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
  2. Submit a completed Student Intake Form and Emotional Support Animal Request Form
    Please submit all forms and documentation via email to
  3. 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.
  4. 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.