Emotional Support Animals Policy

It is the policy of Elon University to comply with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADA), the Fair Housing Act, and other applicable federal and state regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. Elon University is aware of its responsibility to provide safe, healthy housing to all students living in University Residence Halls and is committed to providing equal access to Residence Life by all students with qualifying disabilities. In keeping with this obligation, it is the policy of Elon University that emotional support animals are permitted in all housing facilities provided the established procedures and policies are followed.


An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is an animal providing emotional or other support to ameliorate one or more identified symptoms or effects of a disability. Emotional Support Animals are not required to be trained to perform work or tasks and can be species other than dogs or miniature horses.

Housing Accommodations Committee

The Housing Accommodations Committee will consist of representatives from the Offices of Disabilities Services, Residence Life, Student Health Services and Counseling Services.

Steps for requesting an Emotional Support Animal in University Housing

  1. Complete the required documents for the “Emotional Support Animal Request” available in Disabilities Resources. Submit forms to Disabilities Resources.
  2. The Housing Accommodations Review Board will review the request and inform the student of the decision via email.
  3. If the request is approved, the student will be contacted to review the Emotional Support Animal Policy and responsibilities as the owner of the animal in University Housing.
  4. If the request is denied, the student may appeal the decision to the Associate Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students. Students will receive notification on how to file an appeal when the decision is made.
  5. Upon approval of an Emotional Support Animal, appropriate university staff will be notified.

Conflicting Health Conditions and Aversions

  1. Residents with a medical condition or aversion who are affected by animals (e.g. allergies, asthma, respiratory conditions, zoophobia, etc.) because of living in close proximity to Emotional Support Animals should contact the Residence Life Office.
  2. Residence Life will reasonably accommodate residents with medical conditions who need accommodation when living in close proximity to Emotional Support Animals as may be required by applicable law.
  3. The Housing Accommodations Committee will make the decision about conflicting health conditions and medical accommodations. In the event an agreement cannot be reached, the final decision will be made by the Associate Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students.


a.       The Emotional Support Animal is allowed in your University assigned room/apartment and permitted in the common areas of the residential facilities; the animal is not permitted in other areas of the university such as academic buildings, offices, libraries etc.

b.      Emotional Support Animals brought into the residential facility and grounds must be under the control of the owner at all times. The owner is solely responsible for the animal’s well-being, care and cleaning, including but not limited to regular feeding, bathing, grooming, daily care and veterinary services.

c.       The owner must comply with all applicable state and county laws regarding the keeping of the animal, and is responsible for making sure the Emotional Support Animal does not disrupt the residential community of the roommate/suitemates living situation.

d.      The Emotional Support Animal may not be left unattended overnight in the residential facilities to be cared for by another resident. Emotional Support Animals must be taken with the owner if they leave campus for a prolonged period.

e.       Emotional Support Animals must be taken out of the building by way of the shortest and most direct path, and must be maintained under standard restraints such as a carrier and/or collar when outdoors, in public areas, or in transit and must be confined to the residence when not in transit.

f.        Fecal matter deposited on University grounds or within the facilities need to be removed immediately and disposed of properly. The owner is to arrange for removal of fecal matter if unable to perform the task personally.

g.      Acknowledgement of the Emotional Support Animal by the roommate/suitemates will be required each year the resident is in housing, or when a new person occupies the residence.

h.      The owner’s residence may be inspected for fleas, ticks, pests, and/or damage to the residential facilities once a semester or as needed. Residence Life office will schedule the inspection and notify the resident in advance of the scheduled inspection. If fleas, ticks, or other pests are detected through inspection, the residence hall will be treated using approved fumigation methods by a University-approved pest control service. The owner will be billed for the expense of any pest control treatment. The owner must be present when Physical Plant staff needs to enter the residence.

i.        The University may remove or require the removal of the Emotional Support Animal that poses a threat to the health or safety to others on campus, disrupts the educational environment of the University and/or residential community, or if the owner does not comply with the owner’s responsibilities for Emotional Support Animals. The Emotional Support Animal must not interfere with the quality of life of other residents on campus.

j.        Animals that are tethered, unattended, or abandoned may be impounded in accordance with local laws and regulations.

k.      Residence Life has the ability to relocate the owner and the Emotional Support Animal as necessary according to the Residence Living Agreement.

l.        The owner will be financially responsible for expenses incurred above a standard cleaning or for repairs to the residential premises, including losses, liability, claims, and harm to others caused by the Emotional Support Animal.

m.    The owner will hold the University blameless in the event the Emotional Support Animal goes missing. University staff is not responsible for the retrieval of your Emotional Support Animal in the event the animal escapes.

n.      The owner must notify Office of Disabilities Resources in writing if the Emotional Support Animal is no longer needed as an Emotional Support Animal, or is no longer in the residential facilities. To replace an Emotional Support Animal, the owner must file a new Request for Accommodation through Office of Disabilities Services.

Follow-up steps for Emotional Support Animal

  1. Residence Life and Disabilities Resources will maintain a list of where Emotional Support Animals are located.
  2. Campus Safety and Security, and Facilities Management will be notified.

If you have questions, please contact the Office of Disabilities Resources.