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Guidelines for Emotional Support Animals

General Guidelines for Emotional Support Animals on Campus 

Students and on-campus housing

Emotional support animals may be permitted to live in on-campus housing as a reasonable accommodation.  Requests for emotional support animals to live on campus as a reasonable accommodation must be made to Student Accessibility Services with at least 30 days' notice and are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. 

Emotional support animals are not permitted in other campus buildings unless a separate accommodation request has been approved by Student Accessibility Services.  These requests are also reviewed on a case-by-case basis. 

Documentation is required for emotional support animal accommodation requests and must be submitted to Student Accessibility Services. For questions relating to the type of documentation needed and to submit an accommodation request contact Student Accessibility Services

Care and Responsibility for Emotional Support Animals
  • The animal will be the full responsibility of the individual, and the owner must be consistently in control of the animal. If the animal is not under control or poses a risk to the health or safety of others, then the individual may be asked to remove the animal.
  • The owner is responsible for removing or arranging for the removal of the animal’s waste. This will result in placing the waste in a closed container and then removing the container to an outdoor trash bin.
  • Owners who live in College housing may need to designate an individual to help with clean up.
  • Individuals may be responsible for any damage that is caused by their animals.

According to Virginia law, any animal that has reached a proper level of maturity must be licensed and must display a license on its collar at all times, as appropriate (dogs and cats, for example).


Emotional support animals on campus must have an annual clean bill of health (including vaccinations and immunity shots against rabies and/or other diseases common to the type of animal) that is signed by a licensed veterinarian. A valid vaccination tag must be worn by the animal at all times, as appropriate to the type of animal (dogs and cats, for example).  Owners need to make sure that the animal is kept as clean as possible. Regular bathing/grooming and pest control measures also need to be performed by the owner.