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Administrative Issues Journal

Abstract

For decades, universities have been accommodating physically disabled students who require guide dogs and other types of service animals. Within the past several years, however, mentally disabled students have increasingly petitioned colleges with no-pet policies to permit them to bring their animals on campus because they need a companion or emotional support animal to make college life easier and to reduce their stress, loneliness, depression, and/or anxiety. Institutions that unlawfully reject such requests are finding themselves in court and charged with disability discrimination. Schools are understandably confused about their obligation, if any, to waive their no-pet rules under these circumstances. This article discusses pets on campus and provides administrators guidance with respect to this increasingly contentious issue and to keep their organizations “out of the legal dog house.”

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