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Service and Animal Policy

Introduction

Mid Michigan College (Mid) is committed to the accessibility and usability of its programs, services and activities by students, employees, and visitors to the College. This includes providing reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities in accordance with its obligations under state and federal law. The Policy below covers general animals, comfort animals, as well as services animals on campus. It provides guidance on the use of Service Animals that complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II and Title III of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) of 1990 and Michigan Law (MCL 750.502c, 752.61, and 752.62).


Definitions

Service Animals

The ADA defines service animals as dogs that are individually trained to perform work or tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include, but are not limited to, guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or other tasks relating to a person’s disability.

Special note: regarding this Policy, Police K-9s are considered a service animal as well as other animals that work for emergency personnel.

Additionally, the ADA has a separate provision about miniature horses that have been trained to work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. The College must permit miniature horses when reasonable. In making such an assessment, the College shall consider:

  • Whether the miniature horse is house-trained;
  • Whether the miniature horse is under the owner’s control;
  • Whether the facility can accommodate the miniature horse’s type, size, and weight;
  • Whether the miniature horse’s presence will compromise legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operation of the facility.

Comfort/Support Animals

Comfort/Support Animals are animals that provide comfort and support to people as companions. Because they have not been trained to perform specific work or tasks, they do not qualify as a service animal under the ADA. Therefore, they are not permitted on properties that are owned, controlled, operated, and/or maintained by the College.

Pets and Other Species of Animals

A pet is an animal that is kept for personal intentions and enjoyment. Pets or other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not permitted on properties that are owned, controlled, operated, and/or maintained by the College.

Policy Statement

In accordance with the Americans with Disability Act Amendments (ADA), it is the policy of Mid Michigan College that students, staffs, and visitors of the College may be accompanied by working service animals on properties owned, controlled, operated, and/or maintained by the College but adhering to specific provisions stated below, as well as all applicable state and federal laws.

Service Animal Use on Campus

Students

Students with disabilities are encouraged but not required to register with Student Accommodation Services for access to resources, information, and advocacy across a range of disabilities-related dynamics. Registration with Student Accommodation Services is required for any student who wishes to use a miniature horse on Campus.

Employees

Employees with a disability who wish to utilize a service animal as a reasonable accommodation in a College office or other campus area (not open to general public) should contact the College’s Civil Rights/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator, who will work in tandem with Human Resources.

Visitors

Campus visitors with service animals may access all public facilities with the exception of areas where services animals are specifically prohibited due to safety/health restrictions or where the service animal may be in danger.

General Requirements

Any service animal on campus must comply with all state and local licensure and vaccination requirements.

The care and supervision of a service animal is the responsibility of the individual who utilizes the animal’s service. The individual must maintain control of the animal at all times. The individual using the animal’s service is responsible for any cleanup of the animal and for any damage caused by the animal. Mid staff may designate specific animal toileting areas.

Clarifying Service Animal Status

Service animals are permitted in all public facilities on campus in accordance with this Policy. Mid employees should not question an individual about an accompanying service animal if the individual's disability and function of the animal is obvious. In the unusual circumstance when an inquiry must be made to determine whether an animal is a service animal, a Mid employee may only ask two questions:

  • Whether the animal is required because of a disability
  • What work or task the animal is trained to perform

College employees shall not ask any questions about the individual's disability. Conversational questions such as the animal’s name, breed, etc., are not prohibited. Although a service animal may sometimes be identified by a harness, cape, backpack, or identification card, such identifiers are not required and should not be requested or demanded for any service animal on campus.

Conflicting Disabilities

Individuals with any medical issues that are impacted by animals (e.g., respiratory conditions, allergies or psychological conditions) should contact the Civil Rights/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator.

Removal of Animals and Service Animals

Other than in a vehicle, if an unrestrained/unattended, endangered or misbehaving animal is observed, a reasonable attempt will be made to locate the animal’s owner. If attempts to find the animal’s owner are unsuccessful, Animal Control will be contacted and will be directed to remove the animal from College property.

Animals being transported must remain inside a vehicle. Animals that are left in their owner's vehicle will be reported to Animal Control for action if they appear to be under duress from heat, inadequate ventilation, or severe cold. All pets brought on campus grounds must not be left unattended. They must stay on leash. The owner is responsible for any clean-up after the animal.

A service animal may be removed from Mid facilities or grounds for disruptive behavior (e.g., barking, wandering, displaying aggressive behavior) that is beyond the scope of the service animal duties. Ill, unhygienic, and/or unsanitary service animals are not permitted in any public campus areas. The individual responsible for such an animal will be required to remove the animal.

Property Damage

The College will seek restitution for damage to college-controlled property, facilities, or grounds as a result of any animal. The repair or replacement cost of the damaged property is the sole responsibility of the animal’s owner. The College will also seek restitution for any animal-related medical and/or other expense, including but not limited to, harm caused by bites, allergic reactions, disease, or other adverse animal-related interactions.

Interacting with Service Animals

Service animals work and perform tasks and are not pets. It is recommended that members of the Mid community adhere to the following best practices when interacting with service animals:

  • Do not attempt to touch or feed a service animal unless invited to do so
  • Do not deliberately distract or startle a service animal
  • Never attempt to separate a service animal from the individual using the animal's service.

Emergency Situations involving Service Animals

A handler/animal team could become stressed during emergency situations involving smoke, fire, sirens, or injury. As a result, they may exhibit protective behavior. Be aware that service animals may try to communicate the need for help. In emergency situations, make every effort to avoid separating the handler from the animal.


Policy Exceptions

Individuals wishing to request a modification or exception to this Policy as a reasonable accommodation should contact the College’s Civil Rights/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator Martricia M. Farrell, mfarrell@midmich.edu / (989) 386-6622 ext. 394.

Complaints, Grievances, and Appeals

Mid has adopted internal grievance procedures which provide a venue for a prompt, equitable, and impartial resolution of grievances alleging prohibited action by the ADA or Section 504. Grievance may be filed by completing the ADA Grievance Form available on the Mid Cares webpage or by contacting one of the College’s ADA/Section 504 Coordinators.

Policy Implementation

Although success requires the cooperation of all students, staff, and faculty, the College’s Civil Rights/ ADA/ Section 504 Coordinator is responsible for implementing this Policy.

Resources

 
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