Service Animal Policy

Op5.05-7 Service Animal Policy

Behavior of Service Animals

The supervision of a service animal is solely the responsibility of his or her partner/handler. The animal must be under partner/handler control at all times. The animal must be as unobtrusive as possible. Injuries to or caused by the service animal must be reported to the appropriate person as outlined above.

Exclusions from campus: Service/assistance animals may be removed or restricted at a Missouri State University location or event for reasons of disruption, not under the control of the partner/handler, the service animal not being housebroken, health, cleanliness, and safety or when it would cause a fundamental alteration to University activities. For example, a student/handler will be asked to remove the animal from the facility or event if the animal is ill and/or when that animal's behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of other persons. Infractions will be handled on an individual basis.

Relief Areas

Relief areas on campus include the nearest grassy areas outdoors. The partner/handler is responsible for cleaning up after the animal, including voided waste. If a person with a disability cannot physically clean up after their service animal, the partner/handler may request an exception to this rule. Exceptions to this rule will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Areas of Access

The service animal must be permitted to accompany the individual with a disability to all areas of campus where students, employees, or members of the public are normally allowed to go. An individual with a service animal may not be segregated from others.

However, the University may prohibit the use of service animals in certain locations due to health or safety restrictions, where service animals may be in danger, or where their use may compromise the integrity of research due to the presence of chemicals and/or organisms. Such restrictions may include, but are not limited to the following areas: research laboratories, classrooms with demonstration/research animals, areas where protective clothing is required, wood shops and metal/machine shops, electrical shops, mechanical rooms, custodial closets, and nuclear research areas. Exceptions to restricted areas may be granted on a case-by-case basis.

Residence Hall Conditions

With regard to University Housing, students with service animals are not automatically assigned to a private room. Students with service animals will be matched with potential roommates to whom contact has been made to prevent possible incompatibilities such as allergies or other concerns. If a private room is requested and approved, the standard private room rate will apply (additional one-half time the applicable room rate).

A specific exercise location for the service animal will be established around the assigned residence hall. In addition, any damages caused by a service animal (e.g., room furnishings, roommate belongings, common area rugs, etc.) will be the responsibility of the student/handler contracted for University housing. Service animals may not be fed using food/scraps from any dining center.


The partner/handler of an animal is personally responsible for any damages to a facility or sponsored event.

Conflicting Disabilities

If a person has a disabling condition that involves an allergic reaction to animals, they may make a complaint to the University's Office for Institutional Equity and Compliance at 417-836-4252 (voice) or 417-836-3257 (TTY) if common sense accommodations are unsatisfactory. The person making the complaint must provide supporting medical documentation to support that complaint. Action will be taken to consider the needs of both the complainant and the partner/handler to resolve the problem as efficiently and expeditiously as possible.

Grievance Procedure

The Office for Institutional Equity and Compliance is charged with investigating complaints of discrimination or harassment, including complaints regarding implementation of this policy. They place a strong emphasis on resolving complaints informally in a fair, prompt, and confidential manner. If the issue is not resolved, then formal procedures are available.

For more information or to make a complaint, contact:

Office for Institutional Equity and Compliance
Missouri State University
PCOB Suite 111
901 S. National Avenue
Springfield, MO 65897
Phone: 417-836-4252
Toll Free: 877-967-8636
Fax: 417-836-3055
TTY: 417-836-3257