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Assistive Animals

Service Animals

Service animals are allowed on campus (i.e. in campus buildings). In the state of Washington, "service animal" means 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. 

Emotional Support Animals

Under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), a person with a disability may keep an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) in the individual's dwelling when there is an established need for the therapeutic nature of the animal that is connected to the individual's disability. An ESA is prescribed by a person's licensed therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrists (any licensed mental health professional) as a part of a treatment program for that person and is designed to bring comfort and minimize the symptoms of the person's emotional/psychological disability. 

Unlike a service animal, an ESA does not need to be trained to provide a service or task and does not accompany a person with a disability at all times. An ESA may be a reasonable accommodation for a student with disabilities but only within the student's dwelling. ESAs are not allowed in classrooms or campus buildings other than the specified residence halls, campus-owned apartments or houses.  Students may qualify for this accommodation if: (1) the student has a documented disability; (2) the animal is necessary to afford the student with the disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy their dwelling; and (3) there is an identifiable and documented nexus between the disability and the assistance that the animal provides. The College will allow only those ESAs that are allowed by local and state laws and conform to standards within this policy.

If you have been prescribed an Emotional Support Animal and want to know how to register your animal, please contact Disability Support Services at DSS@whitman.edu. All ESAs must be registered with the ARC. All registration information will be shared with the Residence Life and Housing Office, Campus Security, and Physical Plant Services.


For the Fall semesters, we must have supporting documentation submitted to our office by July 15th prior to on-campus arrival.

For the Spring semesters, we must have supporting documentation submitted to our office by November 15th of the prior year.

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