Request for Emotional Support Animals and Service Animals in Housing

George Fox University is committed to making reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. As
part of our commitment, students with disabilities who have a service animal or who are determined eligible for an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) are permitted to be accompanied by their animal in their campus room, apartment, or house. Only students with disabilities are eligible for this exception to the pet policy.

A student may qualify for this accommodation if:
(1) the student has a documented disability;
(2) the animal is necessary to afford the student with the disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy their dwelling;
(3) there is an identifiable and documented nexus between the disability and the assistance that the animal provides.


Service Animal

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a service animal as a dog* that is "individually trained" to "do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability." The tasks a dog has been trained to provide must relate directly to the person's disability. The crime deterrent effects of an animal's presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition. Assistance animals are not pets.

*Under particular circumstances set forth in the ADA regulations at 28 CFR 35.146(i), a miniature horse may qualify as a service animal.

Emotional Support Animal (ESA)

Federal laws recognize emotional support animals as reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities for purposes of housing and travel. In order for an animal to qualify as an emotional support animal, the individual must have an identified psychological disability as diagnosed by a qualified provider; documentation from the provider must include a recommendation for an emotional support animal. By definition and law, a "mental or psychological disorder" qualifies as a disability so long as it substantially "limits a major life activity." An Emotional Support Animal is not a pet.

Procedure for Requesting Service Animals or Emotional Support Animals in University Housing

Step 1: If you would like to request to have an animal in university housing, review this document thoroughly, including the resources on
responsible animal ownership.

Step 2: Register in the Accommodation Information Management (AIM) system. Go to, click the "Get Started" button, and complete the application.

Step 3: Make an appointment with the Director of Learning Support Services as soon as possible by calling 503-554-2314 or emailing

  • Service animal requests: Submit a completed Student Request Form, along with a photo of the animal and its crate/home, to the Disability Services Office.
  • Emotional support animal requests: Submit a completed Student Request Form and Mental Health Provider Form, along with a picture of the animal and its crate/home, to the Disability Services Office for review. A determination will usually be made within a week of receiving all materials.
  • A Veterinarian Verification Form must be submitted before an animal will be allowed in campus housing.

Step 4: If the Disability Services Office determines you are eligible, complete and return the Owner Housing Responsibilities Form  to the Housing Office.

Step 5: Upon approval of your request by the Housing Office, communicate with the Director of Housing and your Area Coordinator to determine the animal’s move-in date.

Please keep in mind that live feeders are prohibited in campus housing.

Animals must be under the complete control of the handler at all times.

All animals must be housebroken and have all appropriate vaccinations and licenses.

Animals on campus

Emotional support animals are allowed in a student’s campus room or apartment. Students who have a disability-related need to take an ESA to other areas on campus should make an appointment with the Disability Services Office to discuss the need for an accommodation. Service animals may accompany students to all areas of campus without specific permission. 

Conflicting Disabilities and/or Medical Conditions

A student with a disability and/or medical condition that is affected by animals should contact Disability Services Office if he or she has a health or safety-related concern about exposure to an emotional support animal. The person asserting the conflicting disability and/or medical condition must provide appropriate medical documentation that identifies the condition(s) and the need for an accommodation. Appropriate action under federal and state law will be taken to consider the needs of all persons involved and to resolve the conflict as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Decision Review Process

If you feel that you were inappropriately denied this accommodation, a request for a decision review can be made by contacting the Director of Learning Support Services at 503-554-2314. The review will be made by a team of appropriate administrators.

Reference Material

Federal Laws:
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division – Service Animals
Caring for Animals:
Questions to ask yourself before getting a pet
American Kennel Club: Be a Responsible Dog Owner
Guidelines for Responsible Pet Ownership from the American Veterinary Medical Foundation
Licensing and Vaccinations:
Dog licensing in Yamhill County
State of Oregon animal vaccination laws

Making an Informed Decision about Emotional Support Animals
Evidence shows that Emotional Support Animals can provide therapeutic benefits to their owners. Nonetheless, taking care of an animal is a big responsibility - the owner is accountable for the life and well-being of the animal. Factors such as type of animal, breed, and age of animal all play a role in the type and amount of care an animal needs. Before choosing an Emotional Support Animal, we advise that you become well informed on the responsibilities that come with animal ownership.

You may want to review these questions with your parents, provider, Area Coordinator, or others as you consider bringing an animal into campus housing:

1. What type of animal do I want to get? What are the needs of this animal, and how will my lifestyle
allow me to care for the animal?
2. Just as humans take time to adjust to a new place to live, animals also need support as they transition
to a new home. How will I help my animal feel comfortable living in my room when it first arrives?
Where will its supplies (bed, toys, food, etc.) be placed? Will it need to stay in a crate for most of
the day? What behaviors might this animal exhibit if it is distressed and how will I address them?
3. How long am I away from my room during the day? Where will the animal be kept when I’m not
home? Will I need to change the amount of time I am away in order to care for the animal? Do I plan
to study abroad or travel in the near future? What will I do with my animal at those times?
4. How big will my animal grow? Does my living space fit the needs of the animal? How much exercise
will my animal need, and how will I ensure it gets enough exercise?
5. How long is my animal’s average lifespan? Am I prepared to care for the animal for its entire life?
What responsibilities come with a commitment to long term care of the animal?
6. What supplies will I need to purchase for my animal? Have I budgeted enough to make those
purchases? Do I have a plan in place if my animal needs emergency veterinary care?
7. What resources will I use to learn more about caring for my animal