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Disability Resource Center Assistive Animal Policy

Clayton State University (CSU) is committed to maintaining a welcoming and respectful environment for living, work, and study for all individuals, including individuals with disabilities. To that end and in compliance with federal and state laws, the following information provides general guidance and permitted uses of animals assisting individuals with disabilities while on CSU property.

The Disability Resource Center (DRC) Assistive Animal Policy applies to assistance animals that may be used to assist individuals with disabilities.  The term “assistive animal” is a general term that refers to both Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals (ESA), both of which are defined within the policy.  

Requesting an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)

Students who are applying for an ESA must submit the required completed intake forms, a signed Assistive Animal Policy and supporting documentation that meets the criteria listed below in the ESA documentation criteria checklist. 

Intake forms:

ESA documentation criteria checklist

The following elements must be included in a student's supporting documentation for an Emotional Support Animal

  • The student’s name
  •  Information showing that the evaluator of the student’s disability has a professional relationship with the student involving the provision of health care or disability related services
  • The specific animal(s) for which the reasonable accommodation is sought 
  • Information showing that the individual has a physical or mental impairment 
  • Information showing that the impairment(s) substantially limit at least one major life activity or major bodily function 
  • Information showing that individual needs the animal(s) because it performs a job or task, provides assistance, or performs at least one task that benefits the student because of his or her disability, or because it provides therapeutic emotional support to alleviate a symptom or effect of the disability of the patient/client, and not merely as a pet  

If the animal being requested is anything other than a dog, cat, bird, rabbit, hamster, gerbil, fish, turtle, or other type of domesticated animal, then the documentation should also show:  

  • The date of the last consultation with the individual  
  • Any unique circumstances justifying the individual’s need for the particular animal(s) (if already owned or identified by the individual) or particular type of animal(s), and  
  • A statement that the evaluator has reliable information about this specific animal and that they specifically recommend this type of animal.