Samford University

Service Animal Policy



In accordance with the revised Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations(2011), service animals are permitted in University facilities for persons with documented disabilities.  The ADA defines a service animal as a dog that is individually trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability (including physical,sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability).  The work or tasks must be directly related to the handler’s disability.  Examples include, but are not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, or pulling a wheelchair.  Service animals that meet the ADA definition are permitted to accompany an individual with a disability to class, services, activities, programs, field trips, or residences.  However, service animals must be under the handler’s control at all times, be housebroken, in good health, and current with all appropriate vaccinations.  In addition, service animals may wear a harness, identification tag, or other gear that readily identifies its working status. The service animal may be licensed from an approved training program or have a current license and tags from local authorities.  Handlers are held responsible for any property damage. The handler is also responsible for clean-up of animal waste.  

Any service animal may be removed from campus either temporarily or permanently if it becomes disruptive, unruly, or in ill health.  For example, a service animal that displays aggressive behavior towards people may be excluded.  Service animals whose sole function is “the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship” are not considered service animals under the ADA. Questions related to the student use of service animals on campus should be directed to the Office of Disability Resources, 205-726-4078.  Questions related to the visitor or employee use of service animals on campus should be directed to Human Resources, 205-726-2809.