- Any animals besides dogs (though there is a special provision permitting miniature horses in some cases)
- Animals that serve solely to provide a crime deterrent effect
- Emotional support, comfort, or companionship animals
Individuals with disabilities may be accompanied by their service animals on Wake Forest University property where members of the public or participants in University services, programs, or activities are allowed. As defined by federal law, a service animal is “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.” In addition, North Carolina law requires that a dog being trained to perform as a service animal has the same rights as a fully-trained dog when accompanied by a trainer and identified as such. For purposes of this guidance, service dogs and service dogs in training are referred to collectively as “service dogs.”
There is also a distinction between service dogs that are trained to respond to an individual’s needs, and untrained “emotional support” animals whose mere presence may positively affect a person’s disability. The former, with their recognition and response training, are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act, while the latter–therapeutic though they may be–are not covered.
To respect the rights and privacy of individuals with disabilities, federal law only permits the University to ask if a dog is required because of a disability, as well as what work or task the dog has been trained to perform. Individuals do not have to provide documentation of their disabilities, proof that service dogs have been trained, or place special vests on their service dogs.
Service and Emotional Support Animals in University Housing
Individuals with disabilities may have a broader range of animals, commonly referred to as an emotional support animal (ESA), in university housing, in accordance with federal law. The Fair Housing Act includes both service animals (defined in the previous section) and untrained emotional support animals, which are not limited to dogs. Under the Fair Housing Act, a student may keep an ESA in his or her residence hall as a reasonable accommodation if:
The Learning Assistance Center and Disability Services (LAC-DS) will, in partnership with Residence Life and Housing and other units, determine, on a case by case basis, whether an animal is a reasonable accommodation in university housing. As with service animals, individuals are responsible for the control, care, and supervision of their emotional support animals at all times, and the University may exclude an ESA under the circumstances described in the Service Animals at the Wake Forest University section above.
Wake Forest Baptist Health has specific service animal requirements and procedures. Please see the pdf below for policy regarding service animals for the Wake Forest School of Medicine and the Bowman Gray School of Medicine