MHCC Disability Services Office Service Animal Policy
Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) is committed to insuring that individuals with disabilities requiring the use of a service animal can participate in classes, services, and activities at all MHCC sites. MHCC adheres to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – Titles I and II as amended by the Department of Justice in the 2010 Revised Standards, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS). Service animals are also referred to as assistance animals.
The Department of Justice / ADA rule defines “service animal” as the following:
- a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability
- other animals, whether wild or domestic, do not qualify as service animals
- dogs that are not trained to perform tasks that mitigate the effects of a disability, including dogs that are used purely for emotional support e.g. comfort, therapeutic benefit, companionship, etc. are not service animals
- individuals with mental disabilities may use service animals that are individually trained to perform a specific task
The Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) define “service animal” as the following:
- a dog that is wearing a dog guide harness and is trained to lead or guide a person who is blind (ORS 346.610)
- “hearing ear dog” means a dog that is on an orange leash and that is trained to assist a person who is deaf (ORS 346.640)
- “assistance animal” means any animal trained to assist a person with a physical impairment in one or more daily life activities, including but not limited to dog guides trained to pull a wheelchair, fetch dropped items, or perform balance work (ORS 346.680)
- “assistance animal trainee” means any animal undergoing training to assist a person with a physical impairment and has the same rights as a fully trained dog when accompanied by a trainer
Requirements for Individuals with Service Animals:
- the service animal must meet the licensing requirements required by the state of Oregon or state of residence for nonresidents
- it is recommended that the service animal have annual checkups and current vaccinations
- the service animal must be on a harness, leash, or tether at all times unless the individual is unable because of a disability to use a harness, leash, or other tether due to interference with the service animal’s safe, effective performance of work or tasks; in this case the ser-vice animal must be otherwise under the individual’s control e.g., voice control, signals, or other effective means
- the individual with a disability must be in full control of the animal at all times and the animal may not pose a direct threat
- the service animal may be excluded from the campus when that animal’s behavior poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others or when the animal is not house broken—the individual with a disability has the option of continuing to participate in college courses, events, and activities without having the service animal on the premises
- the individual with a disability or the trainer for a service animal is liable for any damages to college premises by the service animal
- college personnel are not responsible for the care or supervision of the service animal
If an individual with a disability and a service animal is registered in a course or present in a college area and another person arrives with serious allergies to animals, you cannot remove the first person to accommodate the second person. Individuals with serious allergies or respiratory medical issues are encouraged to meet with the Coordinator of Disability Services to discuss possible solutions to the situation.
Threat to Safety
If a service animal is determined to be out of control or threatening others as reported by students, staff, or administration, the infraction will be referred to Public Safety and the Dean of Student Success. Consequences may include but not be limited to muzzling a barking dog, re-fresher training for both the animal and individual with a disability, or exclusion of the service animal from college facilities.
Access to College Premises
An individual with a disability shall be permitted to be accompanied by a service animal in all areas of the college where members of the public, participants in services, programs, or activities, are allowed to go. The Coordinator of Disability Services can be contacted and will review any situations on a case by case basis where there is anticipation of potential risk for the individual with the disability, service animal, other students, etc.
Inquiries Regarding Use of Service Animals
- College personnel may not ask about the nature or extent of the person’s disability but may ask the following questions when making a determination of whether an animal is a service animal:
College personnel may not require documentation such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal
College personnel may not make these inquiries about a service animal when it is readily apparent that the animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability e.g. guiding an individual who is blind, pulling person’s wheelchair, etc.
- Is the animal a service animal and required because of a disability?
- What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?