Policy on Service and Assistance Animals


Service animal – Any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability.

Assistance animal – A broad range of animals used in a place of residence to alleviate one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability. Assistance animals are not considered service animals.

Partner/Handler/Owner – A person with a service animal or assistance animal.

Service animals are generally permitted in all NCMC facilities, programs, and activities. In residence halls, assistance animals are also permitted if they meet the condition for a reasonable accommodation.

A service or assistance animal may be prohibited if:

  1. The animal’s behavior or presence poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.
  2. The animal is out of control and the animal’s owner does not take effective action to control it, or
  3. The animal’s presence fundamentally alters the nature of a program or activity. If it is determined that an animal’s presence must be prohibited, reasonable accommodations will be provided to assure equal access to the student.

Students requesting the use of an assistance animal should contact the Accessibility Services Office in the Alexander Student Center, or by calling (660) 359-3948, ext. 1405. Employees should contact the President’s Office at ext. 1200. Assistance animals will be limited to housing areas only.

Although not necessary, students using service animals are encouraged to contact the Accessibility Services Office so they can assist the owner with questions or other potential accommodations. If the student plans to live in campus housing, accommodations may need to be discussed on how best to provide for the animal and student.

The Accessibility Services Office may require documentation to determine:

  • that that the student has a disability for which the animal is needed
  • how the animal assists the student
  • the nexus between the student’s disability and the assistance that the animal provides

If a student is requesting that a service animal or assistance animal live in campus housing, the student is encouraged to notify the Accessibility Services Office at least thirty (30) days prior to the desired move-in date so that NCMC can best accommodate the student and the animal. If all other criteria are met, as set forth by the Accessibility Services Office, a meeting will be arranged between the student and the Director of Residence Life to discuss how to best accommodate the student, the animal, and the campus community.

The owner of the animal takes responsibility for the following:

  • Accompanying the animal at all times
  • Proof of up-to-date vaccination schedule
  • Making sure the animal has met any local or state licensing requirements and wears tags designating the license
  • Maintaining control of the animal by the owner at all times. The animal shall have a harness, leash, or other tether at all times outside of the owner’s private quarters, unless the owner’s disability interferes with its use or tethering the animal would interfere with the service of the animal
  • Making sure the animal is house broken and animal waste is disposed of promptly and in the proper receptacle
  • Full financial responsibility for any damage done or cleaning that needs to occur to the premise/facilities

Some individuals may have adverse reactions to animals due to allergies, asthma, or other medical conditions. If these circumstances arise, the person impacted by the presence of the animal must provide medical documentation to support the claim. Resolution of the complaint will take into consideration the needs of both parties and be as prompt as possible.
Note: if a person using a service or assistance animal was assigned to a residence hall before the person with the medical reaction, the person utilizing the service or assistance animal will not be removed to accommodate the second person.

In the event of an emergency, response personnel should be made aware that the animal is a service or assistance animal and they will make every effort to keep the animal with its owner. It is important to note that animals or their partners may be confused or disoriented in a stressful situation, and as a result, animals will be protective of their owners and should not be considered harmful. The owner should make every effort to control the animal during an emergency situation and should be prepared to muzzle or restrain the animal as needed.

Visitors to campus may bring service animals on campus.
Service and assistance animals are working animals, not pets. Pets are not allowed on college premises.

Contact the Dean of Students to file an appeal or grievance, located in the Alexander Student Center or by calling (660)359-3948, Ext. 1400. See also Accessibility Services Handbook, available on the NCMC website.