Emotional Support Animal Policy for Residential Living

Effective: 8/19/15; Reviewed: 10/13/21
Updated: 11/7/22
Contact: Accessibility Services

The Fair Housing Act
The Fair Housing Act regulation provides that emotional support animals be considered a reasonable accommodation in residential buildings, for those students who qualify for such an accommodation. This regulation applies to residential housing only; emotional support animals are not allowed in other areas on campus.

Definition of Emotional Support Animal
An emotional support animal (ESA) is a companion animal that provides therapeutic benefit, such as alleviating or mitigating some symptoms of a person’s disability. This policy does not address service animals, which are addressed and covered under separate regulations by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA). This policy does not apply to pets, which are animals kept for ordinary use and companionship unrelated to a disability. Pets are only allowed on the William Jewell College campus as directed by the pet policy, which can be found in the Policy Library.

Requests for the Use of an ESA
Students who are interested in requesting an ESA should complete the Accommodation Application as soon as the need is recognized. There are two parts to the application process. The first is to complete the Request for Accommodation Application found at www.jewell.edu/accessibility-services. The second is to provide documentation that supports this request from a qualified mental health provider. We ask that you review the documentation guidelines also found at www.jewell.edu/accessibility-services which include the instructions on how to submit documentation to our office. We request 3-4 weeks to process the application and provide a decision. An ESA will not be permitted in the applicant’s residence until formal approval has been communicated through email notification and the applicant has signed and agreed to abide by this policy.

Resident Responsibilities
For the purpose of this policy, “Resident” refers to a student who has been approved for an ESA accommodation. The resident responsibilities outlined below are intended to insure a safe and healthy environment for the ESA, the resident, and the Jewell community at large.

The Director of Residence Life, in collaboration with the Office of Accessibility Services, reserves the right to permanently remove any ESA at any time as a result of the violation or subsequent violations of this policy, and to contact the emergency contact provided or proper authorities to have the ESA removed from campus. Resident Directors, at their discretion, may temporarily remove an ESA, pending further investigation, if they feel the ESA is in immediate danger or is a threat to others in the immediate area.

  • Residents, who are approved for an ESA as an accommodation, must comply with all state and local animal ordinances and are subject to all policies and guidelines regarding Residence Life as outlined in the Student Handbook. (Please see Owning Animals in Liberty below)
  • Residents must comply with any ordinances that require licenses, registration, collars, I.D. tags, etc. All dogs and cats must wear current vaccinations and identification tags at all times.
  • The ESA is not to be left alone for any extended period of time (generally more than 6 hours) in the resident’s room. The ESA must be kept in an appropriate and well-suited containment unit or cage in the room of the resident while the resident is away. In the event that an ESA is left alone in a room for an extended period of time and is not being properly cared for, someone from Residence Life or the Office of Accessibility Services will contact the resident or the emergency contact to remove the ESA. Roommates are not caregivers and cannot be responsible for taking care of the ESA. If a resident anticipates an extended absence from their room, they must make advanced arrangements for the ESA to be cared for off-campus and should notify the Office of Accessibility Services of those plans at least 24 hours in advance.
  • Residents are responsible for cleaning up all animal waste, both indoors and outdoors in a timely and effective fashion. Caged animals are to be kept in an appropriately sized containment unit/cage with flooring and liners to allow for proper disposal of waste and to prevent damages to floors and surfaces.
  • All ESAs must be under the control of their owners at all times, including traveling to and from the residence. All ESAs must either be secured in an appropriate animal containment unit/cage or be on a leash when traveling to and from the resident’s room, and in common areas within the residence. The resident must be in control of the ESA at all times in common areas of the residence. ESAs are not allowed in common residential areas without the resident.
  • ESAs must be generally well-behaved, which includes no barking, whining, scratching, chewing, or aggressive behavior. ESAs shall not disturb, annoy, or otherwise cause a nuisance to other members of the Jewell community. Residents are responsible for any odors, damage, noise, or any other misconduct of the ESA. Residents will be financially responsible for any assessed damages and required cleaning due to non-compliance with this policy. (Please see Being Responsible for Damage Caused by the Animal below)
  • Resident will provide to the Office of Accessibility Services, proof of any registered license (City of Liberty) and veterinarian recommended vaccinations, including the absence of communicable diseases such as fleas and parasites, annually or as needed thereafter.
  • ESAs must not prevent other residents from equal enjoyment of the residential living facilities.
  • ESAs should be appropriately groomed on a regular basis to prevent excessive odors, shedding, and damage to furnishings.
  • Residents are subject to available room/building/roommate configurations that will promote and support a healthy living arrangement with their ESA. This may include, but is not limited to, assigned housing without preference and single room occupancy. If a compliant concerning allergies, health concerns, phobias, or other legitimate concern is made by a roommate, suitemate, or other adjacent party, either the resident or complainant may be relocated to another room, floor, or residential building.
  • In response to a particular situation, William Jewell reserves the right to impose other reasonable conditions or restrictions on the use of an ESA, if necessary to ensure the health, safety and reasonable enjoyment of others. Animals that are considered a direct threat to the safety of the campus community are prohibited on campus.
  • Please remember that ESAs are not allowed in any campus buildings, and are only allowed inside the residential building in which the resident resides. ESAs are not approved to accompany the student to extra-curricular activities on-campus, the dining hall, or other official activities off-campus, such as team and academic related traveling.

Owning Animals in Liberty, MO (taken from the City of Liberty, MO website)

  • Dangerous animals: Animals, which are a physical threat to humans or other animals, or are wild by nature, are prohibited under the code. An animal owner must follow special provisions once an animal has bitten an individual or another animal.
  • Dog license: Licenses are available at the Liberty Animal Shelter, all local veterinarians and at City Hall. Rabies certificate must be provided to obtain City license. Licenses are $5 for sterilized dogs and $10 for unsterilized dog. The license tags must be displayed on the dog's collar at all times.
  • Female dogs: All female dogs in heat are required to be confined within a building, in a way that they will not be accessible to other dogs except for planned breeding.
  • Local laws: The City Code states that animals should be properly cared for. Animals of any species must be under restraint at all times, and dog owners cannot allow their dogs to become a public nuisance by barking or howling.
  • Number of animals: There are limitations to the number of animals that 1 can own. No owner shall own, keep or harbor more than a total combination of 4 dogs and/or cats over the age of 4 months.
  • Rabies Vaccination: All dogs over the age of 4 months must be vaccinated against rabies and licensed with the City.

Being Responsible for Damage Caused by the Animal
Owners are personally responsible for any damage caused by their ESAs and must take appropriate precautions to prevent property damage. The owner will be required to pay for any damages caused by the ESA.

An individual with an ESA covered by this policy in a residence hall has an obligation to make sure that their residence is as clean and damage-free as the original standard, excepting normal wear and tear. When the individual moves out of residential housing or no longer owns the ESA, the residence will be assessed to determine if damage to College property or extraordinary cleaning costs are attributable to the ESA. If so, the owner will be financially responsible for associated costs. The College maintains the right to conduct facility inspections for the purpose of assessing damage caused by the ESA or otherwise determining the owner’s compliance with this policy.

William Jewell College will accept no responsibility for the care of any ESA. The resident must provide all care and incur all costs associated with the maintenance and care of the ESA, as well as any additional cost associated with damages or cleaning of the residence. The resident must include below overnight or extended absence plans for their ESA in the event of a College-sponsored event, a personal trip or other reason the resident cannot care for the ESA. Plans should include location of where the ESA will reside and contact information for responsible party at that location:

__________________________________________agrees to abide by all the directives set forth in the Emotional Support Animal Policy for Residential Living and understands failure to comply could result in permanent removal of the ESA.

Date:____________________   Resident Name (Please print): ______________________________________

Resident Signature:__________________________________________________________

In the event of an emergency please include who should be contacted to pick up the ESA if needed (natural disasters, campus/medical emergencies).

Emergency Contact Name (1):_____________________________________________________

Phone number:______________________________________________________________

Emergency Contact Name (2):_____________________________________________________

Phone number:______________________________________________________________