Canines on Campus: Companion Animals at Postsecondary Educational Institutions

Article excerpt

Table of Contents

  I. Introduction
 II. Federal Laws: Service Animal Versus Assistance Animal
     A. Americans with Disabilities Act and
     Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
        1. DOJ Regulations Relating to Service Animals
        2. ADA's Application to Campus Housing
     B. Fair Housing Act
        1. Campus Housing as a "Dwelling" Under the FHA
        2. Assistance Animals Covered by the FHA
        3. Implication of Assistance Animal Definition
        for Postsecondary Institutions
     C. Other Issues with Service Animals and Assistance Animals
        1. Service Animals in Training
        2. Service Animal Etiquette
III. Animal-Assisted Activity Programs
     A. Bringing Companion Animals to Campus
     B. Visiting Companion Animals
     C. Going to the Companion Animals
 IV. Companion Animals in Residential Buildings
     A. Small Animals Only
     B. Limited to Fraternity or Sorority Houses
     C. Focus on Felines
     D. "Pet-Friendliest" Colleges
     E. Equine Friendly Institutions
  V. Concerns about Companion Animals on Campus
     A. Concerns for Students and Others on Campus
        1. Public Safety
        2. Allergies and Phobias
     B. Concerns for the Companion Animals
 VI. Conclusion

I. Introduction

Americans love their animal companions. (1) For many years, the percentage of households in the United States that include a pet has exceeded sixty percent. (2) When considering what type of household is most likely to contain a pet, households categorized as "parents" rank at the top of the list. (3) One source states that "[m]ore than 75 percent of children in the United States live with pets, and children are more likely to grow up with a pet than with both parents." (4) Additionally, an estimated nineteen million students are enrolled in postsecondary educational institutions. (5) Many of these students want to have a pet with them when they are in college.

For some people, the companion animal in their lives provides more than just love and affection; it provides a means of overcoming the challenges associated with disabilities. The U.S. government estimates that nineteen percent of the civilian noninstitutionalized population has a disability. …