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Service Animal and Emotional Support Policy


Learning Access Center


Pratt Institute supports the use of service animals and emotional support animals on campus by students with disabilities in appropriate circumstances and in accordance with this policy. Any questions about the use of service animals or Emotional Support Animals should be directed to the Learning/Access Center (L/AC) at 718.802.3123 or

  1. Definitions
    1. Service Animals are defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task(s) performed must be directly related to the individual’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals.
    2. Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are defined as a companion animal that provides therapeutic benefit, such as alleviating or mitigating symptoms of a person’s disability. ESAs are not service animals. However, ESAs will be permitted in residential facilities with the approval of the Special Housing Committee.
  2. Specific Procedures for Students
    1. Service Animals: Students with disabilities who wish to bring a service animal to the Pratt campus—including residential facilities, classrooms, and other Institute buildings—may do so without prior approval. However, they are strongly encouraged to contact the L/AC; a voluntary registry is available. Additionally, students with service animals who plan to live in residence halls should contact the L/AC. Advance notice of a service animal in residential facilities may allow more flexibility in meeting a student’s needs.
    2. Emotional Support Animals: Students who wish to bring an ESA into residential facilities as an exception to the “no pet” policy must first make a request for an exception as an accommodation from the L/AC by enrolling with the L/AC and having a licensed professional complete the associated ESA Request Form. Please note that letters purchased from the internet for a set price rarely provide the information necessary to support an ESA request.

      While accommodation requests will be accepted and considered at any time, requests should be made as far in advance as is reasonably possible before the student intends to bring the animal to campus in order to ensure timely consideration. An ESA will not be allowed until formal approval is granted through the Special Housing Requests Committee. Requests should be submitted before the following deadlines:

      Continuing Students:

      March 15 for the fall semester

      New Students:

      May 1 for the fall semester; November 15 for the spring semester.

      In addition, an owner with an approved ESA must keep the animal within the owner’s residence hall room. Students are not permitted to bring ESAs into classrooms, meetings, other Institute facilities and events, other resident’s rooms, or common areas within a building/suite/apartment or house. Requests for exceptions to this policy will only be granted in unique or extraordinary circumstances.
  3. General Standards for the Removal of Service Animals or the Disapproval/Removal of Emotional Support Animals
    1. Decisions to remove a service animal or disapprove/remove an ESA will be made on a case-by-case basis, taking into account all surrounding circumstances. Additionally, please note that there are some restrictions on the kind of ESAs that can be approved for the residence hall given health and space constraints.

      The following general standards reflect reasons why an animal may be removed or disapproved:
      1. The animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others. For example, the animal displays overly aggressive behavior towards others or has a serious illness that poses a significant risk to the health and safety of others;
      2. The animal causes or would likely cause substantial physical damage to the property of the Institute and other community members, including but not limited to students, faculty, staff, and visitors;
      3. The animal poses an undue financial and administrative burden to the Institute;
      4. The animal would fundamentally alter the nature of the Institute housing and/or general operations;
      5. The animal is out of control and the handler/owner does not take effective action to control it. If the out of control behavior happens repeatedly, the handler/owner may be prohibited from bringing the animal into Institute facilities until the handler/owner can demonstrate they have taken significant steps to mitigate the behavior;
      6. The animal is not housebroken;
      7. The animal is brought out of the residential student’s room for purposes other than leaving the building or is otherwise left to be outside the confines of the student’s room with or without the handler/owner present;
      8. The handler/owner does not abide by their responsibilities as outlined in Section V of this policy.
      9. When an animal has been properly removed pursuant to this policy, Pratt will work with the handler/owner to determine reasonable alternative opportunities to participate in the Institute’s services, programs, and activities without having the animal on the premises.
  4. Responsibilities of Handlers/Owners
    1. Laws, Ordinances, and Policies: Handlers/owners are responsible for complying with all state laws and local animal ordinances and are subject to all Institute policies and guidelines regarding Residence Life and Housing.
  5. Proper Identification: All animals are subject to local licensing and registration requirements.
  6. Health and Vaccination: Animals must be immunized against diseases common to that type of animal. All vaccinations must be current; records must be submitted annually as part of the ESA request procedure.
  7. Caring for the Animal: The cost of care, arrangements, and responsibilities for the well-being of the animal are the sole responsibility of the handler/owner at all times. Pratt will accept no responsibility for the care of any animal covered by this policy.
    1. Animals must be well groomed (residential facilities such as showers, tubs, sinks, and the like may not be used for this purpose).
    2. Animals cannot be left unattended overnight at any time. If the handler/owner must be away, they must either take the animal with them or make arrangements for the animal to be cared for elsewhere off campus.
    3. Animals cannot be confined to a vehicle, tethered, or abandoned at any time.
    4. Regular and routine cleaning of floors, kennels, cages, etc. must occur. The odor of an animal emanating from a residence hall room is not acceptable.
  8. Roommates of Students with ESAs Requests: Students should provide written approval of the animal from each roommate/suitemate/housemate as part of the accommodations request.
  9. Being Responsible for Damage Caused by the Animal: Handlers/owners are personally responsible for any damage caused by their animals and must take appropriate precautions to prevent property damage. The handler/owner will be required to pay for any damages caused by the animal.
    1. An individual with an animal 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.
    2. When the individual moves out of residential housing or no longer owns the animal, the residence will be assessed to determine if damage to Pratt property or extraordinary cleaning costs are attributable to the animal. If so, the owner will be financially responsible for associated costs.
    3. Pratt maintains the right to conduct facility inspections for the purpose of assessing damage caused by the animal or otherwise determining the owner’s compliance with this policy.
  10. Being Responsible for Waste: Cleaning up after the animal is the sole responsibility of the handler/owner and must be done so immediately. In the event that the handler/owner is not physically able to clean up after the animal, it is then the responsibility of the handler/owner to arrange for or hire someone capable of cleaning up after the animal.
  11. Leash Requirements: Service animals should be on a leash at all times, unless the owner is unable to use a leash due to a disability or the use of the leash would interfere with the animal’s ability to perform its duties. ESAs must be on a leash or in a crate when leaving a residence hall to go to an off-campus location.
  12. Observing Good Animal Etiquette: To the greatest extent possible, the handler/owner should ensure that the animal does not display behaviors or make noises that are disruptive or frightening to others, unless it is part of the service being provided to the handler (e.g., barking to alert the handler of danger). The animal must possess friendly and sociable characteristics.
  13. Other Conditions and Restrictions: In response to a particular situation, Pratt reserves the right to impose other reasonable conditions or restrictions on the use of service animals and ESAs as necessary to ensure the health, safety, and reasonable enjoyment of the Institute programs and activities by others.