Emotional Support Animals


Under the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rules, Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) include dogs and other animals, that provide passive support that mitigates, in full or part, an impact of a person’s disability, allowing them to benefit from Seattle University’s Housing and Residence Life programs and services. An ESA can be requested and approved by Disability Services (DS) for SU Housing and Residence Life (HRL).

Requesting Accommodation of an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)

A student requesting an emotional support animal should complete the following steps prior to moving into the residence hall:

  1. Make an appointment with DS to discuss the accommodation providing documentation as indicated below.
  2. Upon approval of an “ESA for residence” the student will be notified of the approval and next steps.
  3. The student will make an appointment with HRL staff to review animal care in the Housing Office in Campion 100.

Expectations after your assignment has been made and before move-in:

  1. Student submits to DS a vet report of good health/vaccination and proof that the animal is licensed per King County and Seattle regulations.
  2. Final approval given for animal to come into residence by SU HRL after animal care expectation meeting and vet report/licensing has been shared to DS.
  3. All steps must be completed prior to animal arrival. Students who bring an animal on campus prior to obtaining permission may be asked to remove the animal from campus.

In order to be approved for an Emotional Support Animal, you will need documentation from an appropriate professional that:

  1. Identifies you and states that you have a disability/health condition;
  2. Shares the relevant history of working together with the animal as it relates to the disability, and need for the animal being prescribed;
  3. Explains how the animal helps alleviate the impact of the identified disability/health condition, including the following specific information:
    • Is it the long-term relationship that has broad and diffuse impact that reduces the overall level of symptoms?
    • Is it in moments of high stress?
    • Are there any specific examples that would assist DS in considering the request for approval of the animal?
  4. Identifies the basis for providing passive support (e.g. the ongoing relationship with the animal or that it serves a defined role in the person’s treatment plan), and states that it is necessary for full participation in or to benefit from particular programs or environments.

Animal Care and Conduct

All animals are the responsibility of their handlers and should be under their control (in proximity to the handler and responsive to commands, in harness, leashed or in a carrier).

  • An ESA or service animal must be housebroken and under owner's control (voice or tether) at all times.
    • Puppy rearing (under six months of age) which focuses on socialization and general obedience training may not qualify as housebroken.
  • ESAs must not be left alone for extended periods of time. It is the responsibility of the handler to arrange for care for the animal if the handler will be away from the animal overnight.
  • All waste from ESAs or service animals must be disposed of in outside receptacles.

An animal’s behavior is considered the handler’s behavior; the animal will be held to the same basic standard of conduct as its handler. If the animal is disruptive to university business or community behavioral expectations for educational, medical, and residential environments, handlers may be asked to correct the animal’s behavior or remove it from the environment.