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Service Animal Practices

In accordance with applicable laws, North Idaho College provides meaningful access to individuals with disabilities who use service animals in all of its programs, events, classrooms and facilities.

Employees, other than Disability Support Services (DSS) staff, are not to approach an individual with questions about whether a dog is a service animal. Service dogs may not necessarily be wearing a vest, have an ID, or be leashed, and it may not be obvious that the person with the dog is an individual with a disability.

Nondiscrimination Clause

North Idaho College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability in any educational programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance or in employment practices.

Questions and concerns should be addressed by contacting Disability Support Services.

The ADA Amendments Act of 2010 (ADAAA) resulted in revised regulations under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), including a new definition of “service animal” that went into effect on March 15, 2011:

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. Other species of animals whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler's disability.

Further, the new service animal definition resolved the issues of companion-therapy animals and the use of guard or attack dogs. The definition  specifically states,

The crime deterrent effects of an animal's presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.  (See, 28 CFR 35.104.)

The Title II revised regulations also have a separate provision that indicates that, in some instances, the college may have to modify its policies to permit the use of miniature horses that have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability, where reasonable.  (See, 28 CFR 35.136(i).)

If it is readily apparent what work or tasks a service dog is trained to perform, such as guiding an individual who is blind, no questions should be asked by anyone, including DSS staff.  If it is not readily apparent whether a dog is a service animal, the revised regulations specifically state the two inquiries about the use of a dog as a service animal that are allowed.  Typically, only DSS staff should be asking these two permitted questions:

      1. Whether the animal is required because of disability (is the dog a service dog?) and
      2. What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?

The college and DSS staff shall not require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal, nor ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.

1. Only dogs are recognized as service animals.  

2. In instances when the college is accommodating an individual with a disability that uses a trained miniature horse, the same service animal provisions that apply to service dogs will apply to the miniature horse.

3. Service animals are required to be leashed or harnessed except when performing work or tasks where such tethering would interfere with the animal's ability to perform work or tasks, in which case the animal must be otherwise under the handler's control (e.g., voice control, signals, or other effective means).

4.  Service dogs are exempt from breed bans and are not limited in size and weight.

5. An individual with a disability may be asked to remove a service animal from the premises if it is either: (1) out of control and the animal's handler does not take effective action to control it or (2) not housebroken. In such instances, the individual with a disability will be given the opportunity to participate in the service, program or activity without having the service animal on the premises.

6. The college is not responsible for the care or supervision of a service animal.

7. Service animals shall be permitted to accompany individuals with disabilities in all areas of the institution’s facilities where members of the public, students, participants in services, programs, or activities, or invitees, as relevant, are allowed to go.

8. An individual with a disability will not be asked or required to pay a surcharge, even if people accompanied by pets are required to pay fees, or to comply with other requirements generally not applicable to people without pets. If a public entity normally charges individuals for the damage they cause, an individual with a disability may be charged for damage caused by his or her service animal.

9. Allergies and fear of dogs are not valid reasons for the college to deny access or refuse service to individuals with disabilities using service animals. When a person who is allergic to dogs and a person who uses a service animal must spend time in the same room or facility, such as a classroom, DSS staff should be contacted immediately so that DSS can ensure that both individuals are accommodated.

 For more information regarding the services offered by DSS, visit Links & Resources

Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division

The US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division released "Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA" in July 2015.  Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA

Inquiries regarding compliance with this non-discrimination policy may be directed to the Director of Human Resources at the NIC Human Resources Offices, Headwaters Complex B, 701 Military Drive, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83814, (208) 769-3304.