Assistance Animals

Service Animals:

The Americans with Disabilities Act recognizes the use of "service dogs" which are specially trained to assist persons with visual disabilities, hearing impairments, or mobility impairments by performing specific tasks. The University of Miami follows the provisions of the ADA with regard to service dogs as an accommodation.

The owner/partner/handler of a service animal is responsible for the safety and care of the animal. A service animal may be excluded from the campus when that animal's behavior poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others. The owner/partner/handler of a service animal must maintain the animal on a leash at all times and must be in full control of the animal at all times. The animal should wear an identification symbol which is commonly recognized as indicating a service animal. Disputes regarding the use of service animals on campus will be resolved through the Dean of Students office at 305-284-5353.

Emotional Support Animals:

The Fair Housing Act and Section 504 recognize the use of “assistance animals” as reasonable accommodations in university housing.  Individuals seeking to live with an assistance animal in any University of Miami on-campus residence must:

Submit a written request to the Office of Disabilities using the Accommodation Request Form.
  • Requests must be submitted no later than June 1st for the Fall semester and December 1st for the Spring semester.
  • Individuals and their assistance animals must participate in a collaborative process to explore the needs of the individual and the animal in a residential setting.
  • Individuals may be asked to provide documentation of the disability that substantially limits one or more major life activity. Documentation must be from a qualified individual and describe how the assistance animal alleviates one or more of the identified symptoms or effects of the individual’s disability.
  • The owner/partner/handler of an assistance animal is responsible for the safety and care of the animal. An assistance animal may be excluded from the campus when that animal's behavior poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others. The owner/partner/handler of an assistance animal must maintain the animal on a leash while in shared or open spaces and must be in full control of the animal at all times.
  • Individuals who fail to submit a written request to the Office if Disabilities but nonetheless bring an animal in to University housing are subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the terms of their housing contract and/or the policies and procedures of the Department of Housing and Residential Life. Violations of this policy may result in the cancellation of a student’s housing assignment. 
Assistance Animal Policies:
Disputes regarding the use of assistance animals on campus will be resolved through the Dean of Students office. Individuals with Assistance animals must comply with the following:
  • The individual must comply with all state or county regulations pertaining to the licensing, vaccination, and registration of their animal. Proof of this information may be required.
  • The owner/handler assumes all responsibility for the actions, damages, or injuries, either caused or incurred by the assistance animal.
  • The University reserves the right to designate the location and building most suitable for individuals with service or assistance animals. Every effort will be made to consider the request of the individual.
  • A request to have an assistance animal or any other housing accommodation will take priority over roommate requests.
  • Animals must remain on a leash in all open areas.
  • Animals may not be tethered or left unattended.
  • Assistance animals are not allowed in classrooms or other University areas with animal restrictions.
  • Individuals with assistance or service animals are responsible for the cost, care, and supervision of their animal at all times.
  • Animals may not be left unattended for extensive periods of time in the residential college rooms or University Village apartments. It is the owner’s sole responsibility to arrange for care during class days.
  • Animals may not be left unattended or with other tenants on weekends or evenings.
  • The care of the animal cannot be transferred to other individuals in the absence of the owner.
  • Animals observed to exhibit dangerous, disruptive, or unsafe behavior may be excluded from residential areas. A determination will be made on a case-by-case basis.