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Service Animals

Many questions exist related to the use of service animals in public spaces like Lansing Community College. This section clarifies LCC's service animal policy and provides guidance for the campus community.

Definitions

Service Animal

A service animal is a dog or miniature horse that performs a task that assists with its handler's disability. In Michigan, service animals can only be dogs or miniature horses. All service animals are permitted to accompany their owner in any space that is open to the public, but work solely for their handler despite being placed in very social environments. Only service animals are allowed on LCC's campus.

Emotional Support Animal

Prescribed by a medical professional, an emotional support animal is a companion animal that provides therapeutic benefit for its owner's mental or psychiatric disability. Emotional support animals are typically cats or dogs, but may be other animals. They are allowed to live with their owners regardless of housing rules, unlike pets, but are not allowed to accompany their owner in spaces that are open to the public. If LCC had residence halls, emotional support animals would be allowed in them.

Therapy Animal

A therapy animal is trained to provide therapeutic benefit to individuals other than their handler. They often work in hospitals, schools, or psychotherapy office, and are encouraged to be social, unlike service animals or emotional support animals.

Owners of Service Animals

Students with Service Animals

If you choose to bring a service animal to campus, please know that certain rules apply to your ability to use the animal in this environment. These rules include:

  • Animal must be under your control (i.e. voice or leash) at all times
  • You must take effective action should your animal stray from behavioral expectations
  • Animal must be housebroken, and toilet appropriately
  • You are responsible for cleaning up after your animal should it toilet while on campus
  • Animal must be clean and well-groomed in order to minimize odor and shedding; if odor or shedding is offensive to other individuals in the classroom, you may be requested to bathe the animal prior to returning to class

If these rules are not followed, you may be subject to sanctions under the student Code of Conduct.

Registering Your Animal with LCC

You are not required to register your animal with Lansing Community College, although we strongly recommend that you consider doing so. If you choose to register your animal, a Center for Student Access team member will meet with you to review LCC's policy and talk with you about your specific needs. We can help troubleshoot difficulties as well. You can schedule an appointment online, call us at 517-483-1924, or email us at lcc-accessibility@lcc.edu to set up an appointment.

Please know that LCC reserves the right to request current registration and/or vaccination records for your service animal whether or not you formally register your service animal. This policy is in effect for all of LCC's campuses.

Employees with Service Animals

Please contact Human Resources to discuss employee service animals. Human Resources can be reached via phone at 517-483-1870.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I tell a service animal from a pet?

Service animals are not pets, though it is common to confuse the two. Service animals may wear a vest or other recognizable form of apparel, although this is not required. Students may or may not choose to register their animals with the Center for Student Access, which is recommended but not required. If there are no obvious indicators that the animal is a service animal, your best option is to assume that it is a service animal rather than confront the handler.

How can I definitively find out if an animal truly is a service animal?

Under federal legislation, you may only ask then handler two questions:

  • Is the animal required because of a disability?
  • What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?

When can a service animal be excluded from the environment?

The few occasions in which it may be appropriate to exclude the animal from the environment may include:

  • Animal's presence would disturb an environment which must remain sterile
  • Animal poses a direct threat to health and safety of others
  • Animal fundamentally alters the nature of the public space

Are service animals in training welcome on campus?

Service animals in training may go wherever fully trained service animals may go for training purposes. The same behavioral expectations apply, and the same possible exceptions are available.

Are there any dog breeds which are banned from being service animals?

A dog cannot be excluded as a service animal in Michigan solely because its associated breed is thought to be aggressive even if a locale has an ordinance which prohibits certain breeds solely on the basis of breed. Dogs can only be excluded if their specific, individual behavior is inappropriate or their presence would fundamentally alter the nature of the course or the environment.

If the animal bites someone or damages something, who is liable?

In Michigan, the animal's owner is liable for dog bites so long as the person who was bitten did not provoke the dog and was lawfully at the location where s/he was bitten. This provision governs both public and private property.

Owners are liable for any damages the animal may cause.

Center for Student Access

Center for Student Access
Gannon Building - StarZone
Phone: (517) 483-1924
Additional contact information »

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