Service and Support Animals on Campus | Pepperdine University

Service and Support Animals on Campus

Pepperdine University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified students with disabilities. This policy provides the circumstances where students will be allowed to have service or support animals while ensuring safety for all members the Pepperdine community. Except as provided herein, animals at Pepperdine are subject to the requirements of the Animals on Campus policy found in Section 37 of the University Policy Manual.

Terminology

A pet is an animal sufficiently tame to live with a family which is kept and cared for as a companion. A service animal is trained for a specific task related to a disability. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, and alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, among others. Service animals are working animals, not pets. An emotional support animal (ESA) provides general support for mental illness. ESAs are sometimes referred to as therapy animals or assistance animals. These animals provide emotional or other support to ameliorate one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person's disability. Unlike service animals, ESAs are not required to be trained to perform work or tasks.

Registering a service animal

To bring a service animal to campus, we ask that you voluntarily register with DSO and complete a service animal agreement. This allows DSO to notify your professors, the Department of Public Safety, and (as necessary) Housing and Residence Life (HRL) as to the presence of the animal. The service animal is able to be with you anywhere on campus. 

If you reside in campus housing, the following needs to take place before the animal is brought to campus:

  1. DSO will notify Housing and Residence Life of your animal.
    • HRL will contact each person in your assigned building with notification of the potential presence of an animal. Your identity will not be disclosed.
    • HRL will communicate with each person in your specific suite/apartment to obtain written, voluntary agreement to live in a suite/apartment with an animal. Your identity will be disclosed. If a suite/apartment-mate is allergic or fearful of animals, the animal will be welcomed on campus when HRL identifies appropriate housing for everyone involved.
  2. The animal must be licensed per the County of Los Angeles (and, as necessary, proper state and federal licensing). DSO will need a copy of such license/s before bringing the animal to campus. Note that the animal will need to be current on shots and immunizations to receive license/s.

Registering an emotional support animal

An ESA is permitted to be with you only in your assigned residence hall or apartment.
The process to bring an ESA is:

  1. Register with DSO, by clicking here: https://pepperdine-accommodate.symplicity.com/public_accommodation/
  2. Include documentation from a mental health professional about your mental illness and how the animal supports your treatment. The documentation should include:
    • how long you have been in treatment
    • your symptoms
    • evidence s/he has seen of the animal's role in reducing your symptoms

        *Note that the Pepperdine Counseling Center does not write letters to support ESAs.

If you are approved for the accommodation of an ESA, the following needs to take place before the animal is brought to campus:

  1. DSO will notify Housing and Residence Life of your accommodation.
    • HRL will contact each person in your assigned building with notification of the potential presence of an animal. Your identity will not be disclosed.
    • HRL will communicate with each person in your specific suite/apartment to obtain written, voluntary agreement to live in a suite/apartment with an animal. Your identity will be disclosed. If a suite/apartment-mate is allergic or fearful of animals, the animal will be welcomed on campus when HRL identifies appropriate housing for everyone involved. If this is not possible during the current semester, we would look to the following semester or next academic year as all housing accommodations are based on availability.
  2. The animal must be licensed per the County of Los Angeles (and, as necessary, proper state and federal licensing). DSO will need a copy of such license/s before bringing the animal to campus. Note that the animal will need to be current on shots and immunizations to receive license/s.
  3. Before bringing the animal to campus, you will engage with DSO to complete an ESA agreement

 

Please Note:

It can be challenging to train a young animal while maintaining classes and other responsibilities. We highly recommend that an ESA not move into campus housing until the animal is housebroken, crate-trained as necessary, and able to be alone without vocalizing. ESAs are fully the responsibility of the student with the accommodation. They are not to be left alone at night or overnight in someone else's care. All clean-up and damages are the responsibility of the student, as are any costs incurred during an emergency for care and control of the animal.

Failure to comply with this agreement may result in disciplinary action as stated in the Code of Conduct sections of the Student Handbook and Graduate Residential Handbook.

The Pepperdine University Animals on Campus should be consulted for further guidance.

If you have any questions, please contact the Disability Services Office at 310.506.6500 or dso@pepperdine.edu.