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Animals on Campus

Section: III.  STSV - 117
Approved By: Dr. Ivan Harrell, 6/18/20
Last Review: 06/09/20
Last Revision: 06/09/20
Prior Revisions: N/A
Initial Adoption: 06/08/16

Policy

It is the policy of  Tacoma Community College to require that all animals be attended, leashed, or properly restrained while on college premises and under the direct physical control of their owner/handler per Tacoma Municipal Code Title 17. The owner/handler is subject to the campus code of conduct while on college premises or working in a campus facility. The owner/handler is responsible for all cleanup and no animal shall be permitted to run at large or be disruptive on any college owned property. Per Tacoma Municipal Code 17.02.070 it is considered a violation for an owner or person to confine any animal in a motor vehicle in such a manner that places it in a life or health-threating situation. Animals are not permitted in college facilities with the exception of service animals, college sanctioned events at which animals are participating, or when animals are part of an academic program. All service animals must meet the U.S Department of Justice Guidelines. Service animals in training may be permitted, but are not entitled to, the same access as service animals. Therapy/emotional support animals are not considered service animals under this policy.

Purpose

This policy is established for the purpose of governing the presence of animals on campus.

To Whom Does This Policy Apply

This policy applies to all employees, students, visitors, and vendors. No one is excluded from this policy.

References

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990

Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act

Chapter 49.60 RCW (Discrimination)

Chapter 49.60.214 RCW (Misrepresentation)

Chapter 7.80.120 RCW (Fines)

Chapter 70.84.020 RCW (Guide Dog)

Chapter 70.84.021 RCW (Service Animal)

Chapter 34.05482 RCW (Brief Adjudicative Proceedings)

Chapter 162-22 WAC (Employment-Handicapped Persons)

Chapter 110-300-0225 WAC (Pets and animals in Early Learning Centers)

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (P.L.93-11)

45 CFR Part 84

Tacoma Municipal Code-Title 17 (Animal Control)

Tacoma Municipal Code 17.02.070 (Confinement of an animal in a motor vehicle)

Definitions

"Service Animal" means an animal that is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability, including physical, sensory, psychological, intellectual, or other mental disabilities.

“Service Animal in Training” means an animal that is being trained for the purpose of assisting or accommodating an individual with a disability.

"Therapy/Emotional Support Animal" means an animal that provides emotional or passive comfort that alleviates one or more of the identified symptoms or effects of a disability. A therapy/emotional support animal is not a service animal under this policy.

"Owner/Handler" means any person having an interest in or right of possession to an animal, or any person having control, custody, or possession of an animal.

"Physical Control" means control by means of a leash of no more than eight feet in length, cage, bridle, or other restraining device held by the owner or keeper. Reasonable modifications of this provision may be made to accommodate a service animal (Tacoma Municipal Code _ Title 17).

"College Facilities" includes all buildings and facilities in the possession or owned, used, controlled, leased or rented by the college, and agencies that have educational agreements with the college. Exemptions to this policy are allowed for college properties that are long-term leaseholds and occupied by agencies that are not affiliated with the college, i.e., Pierce Transit, Tacoma Area Coalition for Individuals with Disabilities (TACID), etc.

"College Premises" includes all land and other property in the possession of or owned, used, controlled, or leased/rented by the college.

“Reasonable Accommodations” are modifications or adjustments to the tasks, environment, or to the way things are usually done that enable individuals with disabilities to have an equal opportunity to participate in an academic program or a job (U.S. Department of Education, 2007).

Procedure

Service Animals Permitted

Owners/handlers of service animals are permitted to be accompanied by their service animal to all areas of the college's premises, including facilities and programs where the owner is allowed to go. Such areas include public areas, public events, classrooms, and other areas where college programs or activities are held. Limited exceptions for service animal access exist. For example, when consistent with other college policies, state and/or federal laws/regulations, a service animal may be restricted from specific areas of the college, such as food preparation areas, animal research facilities and premises, medically sensitive patient and clinic areas, and biologically sensitive or hazardous research sites. If a service animal is restricted from certain areas, the Office of Access Services is available to assist in evaluating reasonable accommodations for the owner.

Assessing Service Animal Status

College personnel must allow a service animal access to an event or activity with its owner/handler when it is readily apparent that the animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for the service animal owner/handler. Examples include a dog guiding an individual who is blind or has low vision, pulling an individual's wheelchair, or providing assistance with stability or balance to an individual with a mobility disability.

If the need for the service animal is not apparent, college personnel may only ask service animal owners for the following information:

  • Whether the service animal is required because of a disability; and
  • What work or task the animal has been trained to perform.

If the owner/handler states that the animal is required because of a disability and the owner/handler states that the animal has been trained to do work or a task for the owner/handler, then the service animal must be admitted in all areas except those that are restricted as explained herein. If there is any doubt that an animal is a service animal, college personnel should admit the animal and then consult with the Office of Access Services regarding future access.

College personnel should not ask service animal owner/handlers for medical documentation or the nature of their disability, except as noted herein. Service animal owner/handlers may not be asked for a special registration, identification card, license, or that the animal demonstrate its ability to perform work or tasks.

College Assistance

Potential and current students and guests are not required to register their service animal with the college. Service animal owners/handlers who are students who regularly access college facilities are encouraged to contact access services within the student affairs department who can assist the owner/handler with proactively informing other college personnel, such as faculty, advisors, building coordinators, etc., that the service animal should be allowed access.

Employees with Service Animals

College employees who require the use of a service animal in the workplace should make a request for a workplace accommodation by contacting the ADA coordinator in Human Resources. For more information see the College's Policy on Equal Employment Opportunity, Board of Trustees Resolution 98-04 and WAC 162-22-100.

Animal Owner/Handler Responsibilities

Animal owners/handlers are responsible for complying with policy and shall be responsible for damage or injury caused by the animal. Additional responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring the animal does not disturb or disrupt normal academic or administrative functions;
  • Immediately cleaning up after the animal and properly disposing of waste or other debris from the animal;
  • Preventing the animal from entering any pond, fountain, or stream located on college premises; and
  • Complying with relevant city, county and/or state license or leash laws while the animal is on college premises.

Owner/handler who violate this procedure or disregard an instruction to remove an animal from college premises may be subject to additional penalties, including banning from any college premises or other fines or penalties under applicable city, county or state rules, regulations or laws.

Service Animal Owner/Handler Responsibilities

Service animal owners/handlers are responsible for complying with policy and shall be responsible for damage or injury caused by the animal. Misrepresentation of a service animal is a civil infraction (RCW 49.60.214). Additional responsibilities include:

  • Keeping the service animal under their direct control at all times, such as by a harness, leash or other tether; however, if the use of a harness, leash or other tether interferes with the service animal's safe, effective performance of work or tasks, or if the owner/handler’s disability prevents the use of such devices, then the service animal must be under the owner/handler’s control through voice control, signals, or other effective means;
  • Ensuring the service animal does not disturb or disrupt normal academic or administrative functions;
  • Immediately cleaning up after the service animal and properly disposing of waste or other debris from the service animal;
  • Preventing the service animal from entering any pond, fountain, or stream located on college premises; and
  • Complying with relevant city, county, and/or state license and leash laws while the service animal is on college premises or in college facilities.

Removal of Service Animals from College Facilities

College personnel may only ask service animal owners to remove their service animal from college premises or from the immediate area for the following reasons:

  • If the service animal is not under the owner/handler’s direct control;
  • If the service animal is disturbing or disrupting the normal administrative, academic, or programmatic routine, then the owner/handler must first be given the opportunity to get the animal under control, but if the disruption or disturbance continues, the owner shall remove the animal upon request; or
  • Emergency assistance may be contacted if the presence, behavior, or actions of the service animal constitutes an immediate risk of danger to people or property.

The service animal may only be excluded by college personnel for that incident. If asked to remove the service animal, the owner/handler must be offered the opportunity to return to college premises or the immediate area without the service animal and be provided with reasonable assistance at that time to participate in the college service or program. Owner/handler with concerns about the removal of their service animal should contact the Access Services Director.

Service Animals in Training

Service animals in training may be permitted, but are not entitled to, the same access as service animals. The college president or appointed representative will have authority over the building area and has the discretion whether to permit access to the service animal in training. Any individual bringing a service animal in training on college property is responsible for complying with this policy.

Violations of Procedure

Depending on the seriousness of the animal's conduct or repeated conduct, service animals may be excluded from college premises temporarily or permanently if they are found to be in violation of this procedure. If a service animal is excluded, the access services coordinator shall, if requested, assist in evaluating reasonable accommodations for the owner/handler. The Access Services Coordinator is responsible for conducting the necessary assessments regarding ongoing or permanent removal of a service animal. Owner/handlers who violate this procedure or disregard an instruction to remove a service animal from college premises may be subject to additional penalties, including being banned from any college premises or other fines or penalties under applicable city, county or state rules, regulations or laws. Violations of this procedure by an owner/handler who is a college student or employee may be referred for corrective or disciplinary action. Concerns relating to violations of this procedure should be referred to the Access Services Director for students or ADA coordinator in Human Resources for employees.

Enforcement

At the College's discretion, brief adjudicative proceedings may be used in matters relating to the college's enforcement of this policy.

  • Access Services Coordinator: Students. Located in Advising Counseling Center, Building 7.
  • ADA Coordinator: Employees, Volunteers, Visitors. Located in Human Resources, Building 14

Grievance Process/Complaint Reporting

Individuals who wish to make a complaint that a college employee may have violated the college's non-discrimination and/or non-retaliation policies, including a failure to permit access to a service animal under this policy, may contact:

  • Tacoma Community College
    Human Resources Office-Executive Director of Human Resources

Individuals who wish to file allegations of discrimination also may contact the following:

United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR)

  • Email: ocr@ed.gov
  • Phone: 1-800-421-3481 (voice)

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

  • Phone: 1-800-669-4000
  • TTY: 1-800-669-6820

Washington State Human Rights Commission

  • Phone: 1-800-233-3247 (voice)
  • TTY: 1-800-300-7525