Service animals and comfort animals are allowed on campus under the guidelines provided within this policy.

  1. Except for animals in use in official University research or activities, or animals present to perform specific disability-related tasks as an approved or obvious accommodation for a person with a documented disability, dogs and other animals are not permitted within University-owned or leased buildings.  Unauthorized animals in University-controlled buildings are prohibited and may be impounded.
  2. Therefore, pets, comfort animals, or companion animals are not allowed to accompany part-time or full-time employees to work or students to class or other University events or areas associated with work functions or classroom activities. The Office of Disability Services can authorize comfort animals for campus housing.
  3. Dogs on a leash, under the control of an individual, and supported by veterinarian’s certifications confirming sound health and up-to-date vaccinations are permitted on University grounds, at the discretion of Campus Police. A dog attached to a leash that is not restrained by an individual, or one tied to a fixed object, is not considered to be under the control of an individual.
  4. The owner or person in control of a dog shall promptly remove any fecal matter deposited on University property, and provide for the proper disposal of this material in a garbage can.
  5. All dogs which are unleashed, or unattended if leashed, on University property may be impounded. Dogs participating in approved events such as shows and exhibitions may be exempt from this requirement during the time of their participation.
  6. After impoundment, the owner, upon the payment in full of all costs incurred as a result of the impoundment, including any veterinary expenses, may reclaim impounded animals.  Sangamon County Animal Control, 2100 Shale Street, Springfield, IL is the agency designated for pick-up and impoundment of animals found in University buildings or on the campus.
  7. The owners of impounded animals with identification or registration tags will be notified when possible. Owners of animals that are without means of identification may inquire at the Campus Police Building for information regarding impoundments.
  8. Illinois state regulations require the owners or managers of public food service establishments to exclude animals from such premises, except service animals providing an accommodation for a person with a disability. When animals are found in a food service area they will be removed and possibly impounded.

Those persons who wish to report a loose or unattended animal or those who wish to inquire about an animal that may have been impounded should call the UIS Police Department at 206-6690. Persons with disabilities with questions regarding the implementation of this policy should contact the ADA Campus Compliance Coordinator and Associate Chancellor for Access and Equal Opportunity at 206-6662. NOTE: LAW ENFORCEMENT SERVICE DOGS AND SERVICE ANIMALS PERFORMING DISABILITY-RELATED TASKS FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (SEE ADDENDUM FOR DEFINITION AND GUIDANCE) ARE EXEMPT FROM THE PROHIBITIONS OUTLINED IN THIS POLICY.


Definition of a Service Animal for Persons with Disabilities and Guidance on Making the Determination*

The U.S. Department of Justice has issued revised Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Title II (which covers state and local government programs) and Title III (which covers private businesses, such as places of public accommodation such as restaurants or retail merchants) regulations, which took effect March 15, 2011. These regulations revise the definition of service animal and add additional provisions. (§35.104, §35.136, §36.104, §36.302)


A service animal is any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not considered service animals.

The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to:

  • assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks
  • alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds
  • providing non-violent protection or rescue work
  • pulling a wheelchair
  • alerting individuals to the presence of allergens
  • retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone
  • providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities
  • helping individuals with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors

NOTE: The provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship are not considered work or tasks for purposes of the definition of a service animal.

Animals certified to assist persons with disabilities that are not present in University buildings to provide such assistance to an individual with a disability are subject to the prohibitions against animals outlined in this Policy and are not exempt as service animals when not providing approved or obvious accommodations.

Other Animals Performing Tasks for Persons with Disabilities as Service Animals

Miniature Horses

A public entity or private business must allow a person with a disability to bring a miniature horse on the premises as long as it has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of the individual with a disability, as long as the facility can accommodate the miniature horse’s type, size, and weight.  The rules that apply to service dogs, outlined below, also apply to miniature horses.

Guidance on Determining Whether an Animal is a Service Animal Exempt from the Prohibitions in this Policy

Asking questions

To determine if an animal is a service animal, a public entity or a private business may ask two questions:

  • Is this animal required because of a disability?
  • What work or task has this animal been trained to perform?

These questions may not be asked if the need for the service animal is obvious (e.g., the dog is guiding an individual who is blind or is pulling a person’s wheelchair).

A public entity or private business may not ask about the nature or extent of an individual’s disability or require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained or licensed as a service animal, or require the animal to wear an identifying vest.

When and Where a Service Animal is Allowed Access

Individuals with disabilities can bring their service animals in all areas of public facilities and private businesses where members of the public, program participants, clients, customers, patrons, or invitees are allowed. A service animal can be excluded from a facility if its presence interferes with legitimate safety requirements of the facility (e.g., from a surgery or burn unit in a hospital in which a sterile field is required).

A public entity or a private business may ask an individual with a disability to remove a service animal if the animal is not housebroken or is out of control and the individual is not able to control it. A service animal must have a harness, leash or other tether, unless the handler is unable to use a tether because of a disability or the use of a tether would interfere with the service animal’s ability to safely perform its work or tasks. In these cases, the service animal must be under the handler’s control through voice commands, hand signals, or other effective means. If a service animal is excluded, the individual with a disability must still be offered the opportunity to obtain goods, services, and accommodations without having the service animal on the premises.

*Source: ADA National Network

Policy approved 9.9.16 for effective date of 9.9.16

Approval Date
Effective Date
Responsible Unit