In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), service animals are permitted in College facilities for persons with documented disabilities. 

(Applies also to therapy animals approved by DSS as an accommodation)

A service animal is any guide dog, signal dog or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including but not limited to guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing, providing minimal rescue or protection work, pulling a wheelchair or fetching dropped items. The service that the animal is providing must be directly related to the functional limitation of the person's disability. The person requesting the accommodation of bringing his/her animal to campus may be required to provide up-to-date documentation of the disability along with a description of the criteria used to assess the impact of the disability.

"Service animals" are defined differently from "pets." Pets are not allowed on campus but service animals are except for the following off-limits locations: research laboratories, mechanical rooms, custodial closets, areas where protective clothing is necessary, or any area that may pose a danger to the animal.

Service animals whose behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others or is disruptive to the campus community may be excluded, regardless of training or certification. Therapy or companion animals are not service animals and are not covered under the ADA, and are not allowed on campus.


Requirements of service animals and their partner/handlers:

  1. Notification: Students planning to attend classes with a service animal must notify the Disability Support Services Office three days prior to attending classes.
  2. Training: To work on campus, a service animal must be specifically trained to perform a service function. While not required, evidence of successful completion of a recognized licensing or certification program for service animals or a letter documenting training is recommended. If available, a copy of the proof of certification should be on file with the Disability Support Services office.
  3. Identification: Identification can help the campus community be aware of a service animal but is not required. Identification could be a vest, harness, cape, identification tag, or other gear that readily identifies its working status.
  4. Control: The partner/handler must be in full control of the service animal at all times. The care and supervision of a service animal is solely the responsibility of its partner/handler.
  5. Leash: The service animal must be on a leash at all times. Exceptions will be made for service animals where a leash is not feasible.
  6. License and Tags: All service animals must meet local, county, and/or state licensing regulations. It is recommended all animals have an owner ID tag.
  7. Health: All animals must comply with local, county, and/or state vaccination and health requirements.
  8. Clean-up Rule: The partner/handler must (a) always carry equipment sufficient to clean up the animal's feces whenever the animal and partner/handler are off the partner's property; (b) never allow the animal to defecate on any property, public or private (except the partner's own property), unless the partner/handler immediately removes the waste; (c) be responsible for the proper disposal of the animal’s feces and for any damage caused by the waste or its removal. If the partner/handler is physically unable to perform these tasks, the partner/handler must contact the Disability Support Services office to make arrangements for necessary assistance.
  9. Liability: Any damage caused by the service animal to college property or to any college employee or student while on campus is the sole responsibility of the partner/handler.

Conditions for keeping a service animal:

  1. Disruption: The partner/handler of a service animal that is unruly or disruptive may be asked to remove the animal from college facilities. If the improper behavior happens repeatedly, the partner/handler may be required to take significant steps to mitigate the behavior before bringing the animal into any college facility. Mitigation may include muzzling a barking animal, obtaining refresher training for both the animal and the partner, or other appropriate measures. The college may exclude a service animal in-training when any reasonable modification to the exclusion would fundamentally alter the nature of the program or the College suffers undue financial and administrative burdens. The college could ban a service animal in-training if it has assaulted a visitor, student , staff, or faculty member without provocation.
  1. Ill Health: Service animals that are ill should not be taken into public areas. A partner/handler with an ill animal may be asked to remove the animal from campus facilities.

Responsibilities of Disability Support Services

  1. The DSS office notifies the instructors that the student will be attending with a service animal.
  2. The DSS office notifies Campus Service Director and the appropriate Vice President that the student will be visiting campus with a service animal.

Procedures for relating to service animals and their partner/handlers

In relating to service animals and their partner/handlers, faculty, staff and students should:

  1. Allow a service animal to accompany the partner/handler at all times and everywhere on campus, except where service animals are specifically prohibited due to health, environmental, or safety hazards.
  2. Refrain from petting, feeding, or deliberately startling a service animal.
  3. Immediately report any disruptive behavior of a service animal to Campus Security. No attempt should be made to separate a partner/handler from his or her service animal.
  4. Any questions regarding service animals or their partner/handlers should be directed to Disability Support Services at 442-2340.

The above responsibilities and rules have been explained to me, and I understand my responsibilities.


Contact Disability Support Services

Located in the Admissions Center, Room 143. Make an appointment by calling the Entry Center at 360.442.2311. Walk-ins welcome during regular business hours.

Main Office

   360.442.2340
TTY/Video Relay Service: 7-1-1 or 800.833.6388

  Shannon Vantrease, Coordinator

  360.442.2340
  svantrease@lowercolumbia.edu

  Mary Kate Marthaller, Director

  360.442.2341
  mmarthaller@lowercolumbia.edu

Current Section 504 / ADA Coordinator

  Kendra Sprague, Vice President of Foundation, HR & Legal Affairs

  360.442.2121
  ksprague@lowercolumbia.edu

Copyright 2017 Lower Columbia College | All Rights Reserved.