Assistance Animals

Hood College is committed to providing  reasonable services and accommodations for students with identified disabilities. The College recognizes the importance of Service Animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Amendments Act of 2008 (ADA/ADAA).

Policy and Guidelines for Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals

Click here for a video tutorial regarding assistance animals.


The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a Service Animal as a dog individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, including physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.

Some State and local laws also define service animal more broadly than the ADA does. Information about such laws can be obtained from the State attorney general’s office (ADA, 2015). The crime deterrent effects of an animal’s presence and provision of emotional support, therapy, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purpose of this definition.

(For Emotional Support Animal questions, please contact the Office of Accessibility Services at


The work the Service Animal has been trained to do must relate directly to the person’s disability. Examples include, but are not limited to: 

  • Helping a blind or low-vision person with navigation or other tasks
  • Alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds
  • Pulling a wheelchair
  • Alerting and protecting a person with a seizure disorder
  • Calming a person with PTSD during an anxiety attack
  • Reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications


An Emotional Support Animal does not require specialized training to perform a specific task like a service animal. However, they do require a letter from a mental health professional. Emotional Support Animals can assist with conditions such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Mood disorder
  • Panic attacks
  • Fear/phobias


    The College may make a limited inquiry to the Handler regarding a Service Animal. The ADA has approved two questions that may be asked: 

    1) Is the animal required because of a disability; and 

    2) What work or task has the animal been trained to do? 

    The person cannot be asked to define his or her disability, provide proof of training or ask the dog to demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.  


    The ADA notes: "There are individuals and organizations that sell service animal certification or registration documents online. These documents do not convey any rights under the ADA and the Department of Justice does not recognize them as proof that the dog is a service animal."

    Requests to keep a Service Animal in the residence halls must be addressed to the Office of Accessibility Services prior to moving into the residence hall. In considering the request, the Office of Accessibility Services will consider the needs of the student as well as the impact of the animal on the campus community.

    Students seeking to have a Service Animal in housing must submit a request for accommodation each academic year. Animals may not be in residence prior to approval by the Office of Accessibility Services.