Exceptions to the Animal Policy

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Exceptions to the Animal Policy at the University of the Arts:
Emotional Support Animals and Service Animals for a Person with a Disability

Please Note: Exceptions to the Animal Policy are only granted due to a fully documented disability.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Fair Housing Act, students with disabilities may be eligible to have an emotional support/assistance animal in campus housing.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development defines an assistance animal as follows:

"An assistance animal is not a pet.  It is an animal that works, provides assistance, or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability or provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person's disability."

Emotional Support Animals/Assistance Animals may be prescribed by an individual's treating clinician to alleviate one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person's disability.  The assistance performed by the animal must be directly related to the individual's documented disability.

Under the Fair Housing Act, a person may be eligible to have an animal in residence as a reasonable accommodation if the follow conditions are met:

  • The individual has a disability

  • The animal is necessary to afford the individual with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy campus housing; and

  • There is an identifiable relationship between the disability and the assistance the animal provides.

  • There is an established relationship of support between the animal and the student. 

Please see our Policy on Emotional Support Animals at University of the Arts.

Applications for emotional support animals (ESAs) or must be supported by a medical diagnosis or substantiation of disability and should be made before July 1 for Fall Semester and November 1 for Spring Semester to ensure that proper arrangements can be made. Exceptions will be considered for conditions initially diagnosed during the semester after these dates; however, we cannot guarantee that appropriate housing will be available.  The University of the Arts will make every reasonable effort to accommodate any requests received after these dates. 

Per ADA regulations, Service Animals are welcome in all parts of the University without restriction or documentation.  However, Service Animals must be trained in order to enter public buildings.  Please see the Department of Justice's Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA.

Students requesting an Emotional Support Animal must provide clinical documentation on official letterhead signed by a qualified and credentialed practitioner, who is not a family member of the student.  Documentation must meet the following qualifications:

  • A statement from an appropriate treating medical professional regarding the individual's disability or condition, and the impact of the condition upon a major life activity.

  • A statement from an appropriate treating medical professional regarding the necessity of the assistance animal for the individual to use campus housing; and

  • A statement from an appropriate treating medical professional regarding the relationship between the student's disability and the assistance the animal provides.  The assistance performed by the animal must be directly related to the student's documented disability.

The University of the Arts reserves the right to take reasonable advance planning time in order to be able to review Emotional Support/Assistance Animal requests so as to determine eligibility and to identify housing that will meet the needs of a student with an assistance animal as well as the needs of any students or staff who may have allergies or phobias. 

Please include the following with your application for an Emotional Support/Assistance Animal.

  • A veterinarian's verification that the animal has all veterinary recommended vaccinations to maintain the animal's health and prevent contagious disease, as required by local ordinances and regulations.

  • A copy of Pennsylvania's required animal license, if appropriate.

  • Supporting documentation of a disability as described above.

All students requesting exceptions to the Animal Policy must meet with Educational Accessibility.  You can make an appointment at uartsaccess.youcanbook.me.

Once approved for an Emotional Support Animal in Housing, the following policies apply:

  • UArts will request veterinary certification of routine care of the animal, including vaccines (where applicable) prior to your bringing the animal to campus.

  • UArts may not charge a student with a disability a surcharge for having an Emotional Support/Assistance Animal; however, if the animal causes any damage, UArts may charge for the cost of damages.

  • UArts and employees of the University are not responsible for the care or supervision of an Emotional Support/Assistance Animal.  This includes, but is not limited to, providing food for the animal as well as cleaning up the animal's urine or feces. Pet hair and dander must also be cleaned up regularly.

  • An Emotional Support/Assistance Animal is not required to have special training, certification or to be licensed as an assistance animal; however, the animal shall be under the control of the individual at all times.

  • An approved Emotional Support/Assistance Animal is allowed in the student's room and in common areas of the residence hall.  Emotional Support/Assistance Animals are not permitted in any other areas of the campus outside of the accommodated student's assigned housing.

  • Animals must be housebroken and able to live on campus without creating a nuisance for other residents and members of the community.  Emotional Support/Assistance Animals must be caged/contained when students are in class or out of the residence halls.  Assistance animals should not be left unattended/unchecked in the residence hall for long periods of time.  If students will be leaving campus for the weekend or for breaks, they are required to take their animal with them or board them off campus.  Since the animal is permitted to remain on campus as an accommodation for a specific students, the student with the accommodation is solely responsible for the control, observation, and maintenance of the animal.  Other students should not serve as proxies to care for the animal.

  • Emotional Support/Assistance Animals must meet the license requirements for Pennsylvania and the city and county of Philadelphia.  Animals must wear designated licensing tags (when applicable).  Current licensing and veterinary records (where applicable) will be maintained by the Office of Educational Accessibility and must be updated yearly.

Please refer to our Policy on Support Animals at University of the Arts.