Assistance Animal Guidelines for Residential Students
Policy Name: Assistance Animal Guidelines for Residential Students
Policy Number: 05-04-014
Accountable Senior Administrator: Vice President Student Affairs, Jodi Bailey, Ph.D.
Issued: November 2016
Last Updated: May 2023
New Jersey City University follows the most recent guidance from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regarding assistance animals. In accordance with HUD and the Fair Housing Act (FHA), New Jersey City University has created the following guidelines for assistance animals in the residence halls.
Reason for the Policy
To provide reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities residing in campus housing in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act.
Stakeholders Affected by Policy
- All Residential Students requesting to have an assistance animal in campus housing.
- Residence Life
- Office of Specialized Services (OSS)
Assistance Animal - An assistance or emotional support animal is one that is necessary to afford the person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy University housing. The animal may provide physical assistance, emotional support, calming, stability, and other kinds of assistance. Assistance animals do not perform work or tasks that would qualify them as a “Service Animal” under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Assistance animals are to be owned, managed and controlled only by the student who has been approved to keep the Assistance Animal.
- Student must be in full control of the animal at all times. The animal must be within six (6) feet of student’s person at all times while on University property and outside of student’s room.
- The animal is expected to be well behaved (not jumping, nipping, snarling or barking) while in the presence of other people.
- Animals must be transported in an animal carrier or controlled by leash or harness at all times outside of the student’s room.
- The student is financially responsible for the actions of the approved animal, including but not limited to any actions resulting in bodily injury and/or property damage. Students with approved animals must take appropriate precautions to prevent injury and property damage. Any damage requiring maintenance above and beyond the normal maintenance cleaning and any other damage to New Jersey City University property caused by the animal will be charged to the student’s New Jersey City University account.
- At all times, the cost of care and maintenance of the health and well-being of the animal are the sole responsibility of the student. The animal must have an annual examination from a licensed veterinarian and be deemed in good health. The student must provide documentation of the animal’s compliance with all relevant state and local ordinances regarding animal ownership, vaccinations and proper licensure.
- The student is responsible for properly containing and disposing of all animal waste. Indoor animal waste must be placed in a sturdy plastic bag and tied securely before being disposed of in a designated receptacle. Outdoor animal waste, such as dog feces, must be immediately retrieved by the resident, placed in a plastic bag and securely tied before being disposed of in a designated receptacle.
- Animals may only be walked by the student owner in the designated relief area. No party other than the student is permitted to walk, supervise or control the animal. Student is responsible for discouraging others (student’s faculty and staff) from petting, feeding, walking or deliberately startling the animal.
- Animals must wear owner identification tag (which includes the name and phone number of the owner), the Jersey City license tag (if applicable), and a current rabies vaccination tag at all times.
- The student will provide Office of Specialized Services (OSS) and Residence Life with contact information for a person who can be contacted in the event of an emergency or if the student is unable to care for the animal at any time. Current New Jersey City University residents or staff members are not appropriate choices for an emergency contact and will not be permitted.
- The student is solely responsible for the health and safety of the animal. Student is responsible to ensure the animal is kept clean (regular bathing and grooming). If animal neglect of any kind is suspected, OSS or Residence Life staff will contact the student and the Jersey City Police or Animal Control. The animal should not be left alone in the unit for unreasonably long periods.
Assistance Animals in Residence Halls
All areas except for privately assigned living space in housing are off-limits to approved Assistance Animals.
- All animals must be placed in a crate or cage when the student is not present in the residence hall room.
- The student is responsible for assuring that the animal does not interfere with the orderly operation of the residence hall or cause difficulties for other residents of the community. Sensitivity to residents with allergies and to those who fear animals is important to ensure a positive residential community.
- New Jersey City University will inspect the residential unit on a regular basis as part of routine health and safety checks of all residential space. If fleas, ticks or other pests are detected through inspection, the unit will be treated using fumigation methods by the university-approved pest control services. All costs will be billed to the student’s account and will be the sole responsibility of the student.
- University personnel shall not be required to provide care or food for any Assistance Animal including, but not limited to, removing the animal during an emergency evacuation. Emergency personnel will determine whether to remove the animal and may not be held responsible for care, damage to, or loss of the animal.
If you are a Residential Student and are requesting to have an Assistance Animal reside with you in campus housing, please review the Assistance Animal Guidelines for Residential Students and submit an Assistance Animal Registration Form. Please also submit an OSS Registration Form and documentation that supports the request for the animal. Documentation should include the following.
- verifies that the student has a disability;
- describes the need for the Assistance Animal to enable the student an equal opportunity to use and enjoy University housing; and
- Identifies the relationship between the disability and the assistance the Assistance Animal provides.
All information will be reviewed by the OSS Office in collaboration with the Office of Housing and Residence Life and the Dean of Students Office.
Removal of Assistance Animals
- Assistance Animals shall be removed from New Jersey City University premises if:
- the Assistance Animal bites or displays aggressive behavior towards other students, staff, or guests;
- the Assistance Animal is disruptive or has caused damage to university property:
- the Assistance Animal is not housebroken.
- If improper animal behavior occurs, the student may be asked to remove the animal from the residence hall until the student can demonstrate that s/he has taken significant steps to mitigate the behavior.
Important Information to Note Regarding the Approval Process
Students are required to submit an OSS/SI registration form and documentation from a medical professional of the disability that supports the request for an assistance animal. Students must also submit an Assistance Animal Registration form and receive approval from the Office of Specialized Services before bringing the animal to the residence hall.
Students who have unapproved animals in the residence halls are subject to disciplinary action as outlined in the Housing and Residence Life Contract and Student Code of Conduct.
Related Policies and Documents
- OSS/SI Registration Form
- Assistance Animal Registration Form
- Housing and Residence Life Contract
- Student Code of Conduct
- Jennifer Aitken, Director Office of Specialized Services – Oversight of the approval process
- Jennifer Luciano, Associate Dean of Residence Life and Social Services – Oversight of students’ responsibilities and enforcement of the policy
- Pia Stevens Haynes, Dean of Students – Oversight of enforcement of the policy
Contact for Questions
Office of Specialized Services and Supplemental Instruction
Office of Residence Life
Office of the Dean of Students