Service or Assistance Animals

The University of Hawaiʻi Executive Policy on Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals EP 1.207 defines and outlines guidelines to support the use of Service and Emotional Support Animals.

Animals on the Mānoa Campus

Pets and other animals are not permitted in any campus building, with the exception of service animals accompanying a person with a disability, authorized research animals, and animals used by law enforcement or emergency personnel. In addition to service dogs, other types of assistance animals or ESAs (Emotional Support Animals) for persons with disabilities may be authorized by the University on a case-by-case basis.

The University of Hawaii at Mānoa recognizes the importance of allowing people with disabilities who require the use of service or assistance animals to receive the benefit of the work, tasks or therapeutic support provided by such animals while on campus. Assistance animals for persons with disabilities may be authorized by the University on a case-by-case basis. Service and assistance animals are not the same and perform different functions; they are not interchangeable, and they are not pets.

The University is not responsible for the care of or supervision of the animal. The handler must ensure all legal requirements have been met for the presence of animals in public places (vaccinations, licensure, ID tags, etc.) mandated by State and/or local ordinances.

ESAs may not enter University premises without an official accommodation granted in advance. Students and employees with disabilities who are seeking permission to have an ESA in their on-campus residence or in their work environment must request an accommodation that will enable them to do so.

Service Animals

A service animal is a dog or a miniature horse as identified by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Service animals are working animals, not pets. Service animals have received specialized training to perform work or tasks for their handler and the work or tasks must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

Examples of these tasks are: guiding a person who is blind; providing physical stability or balance; alerting a person who is Deaf or hard of hearing to another person’s presence or sounds; retrieving items like keys, phone, medicine; assisting a person during a seizure; helping a person with psychiatric disabilities by preventing or interrupting harmful behaviors; etc.

Under the ADA, individuals with disabilities may be accompanied by their service animals on the Mānoa campus where members of the public or participants in services, programs, or activities are allowed to go. It may be appropriate in some situations to exclude a service animal from areas where the animal’s presence may compromise a sterile environment.

Service animals are expected to be under control. Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.

While on campus, some of the handler’s responsibilities include:

  • The handler must accompany the service animal at all times.
  • The handler is responsible for the behavior of the service animal. Uncontrolled barking, jumping, sniffing, growling and whining, not related to the service the animal is providing, are some examples of unacceptable behavior.
  • The handler is responsible for cleaning up after the animal and must carry equipment to clean up the animal’s feces whenever the animal is on campus.
  • The handler must ensure the animal does not infringe upon aisles or passageways for fire egress.
  • In a lab environment, additional measures might be needed to ensure the safety of the animal.
  • Identification – While not required, it is helpful that a service animal wear recognizable identification. This will alert others that the animal is working and is not a pet.

The University may exclude a service animal from campus only if:

  • Its behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others;
  • Its presence fundamentally alters the nature of a program or activity;
  • The animal is out of control and individual does not take effective action to control it;
  • The animal is not housebroken.

If an animal is excluded, the handler, or person with a disability is always allowed to return without the animal.

When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Staff may ask two questions:

  1. Is the dog/horse required because of a disability?
  2. What work or tasks has the dog/horse been trained to perform?

Inquiries about the person’s disability are not allowed. Further, a person with a disability cannot be required to furnish medical documentation or to produce a special identification card or training documentation for the service animal.

The campus community is encouraged to be respectful and welcoming of these working animals and to be mindful of the following tips:

  • The dog is working. Do not touch the dog or the person without permission.
  • Speak to the person first and not the dog.
  • Questions of a personal nature should be avoided. Disability information is confidential.
  • Do not feed the dog, or call the dog, or make other distracting noises which might interfere with their work.
  • If you think the service dog or the handler needs help, ask before acting.
  • Do not assume an animal is not a service dog just because it doesn’t have a vest, patch or other identification. This is not required by federal law.