Ball State recognizes the value and need of service animals to assist some students with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines service animals as:

"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. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. 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."

Ball State reserves the right to ask that the animal undergo additional training or be removed if it does not fit this description or if it has become disruptive. For example, a properly trained service animal will remain at its owner's feet. It does not run freely around, bark or growl repeatedly at other persons or animals, bite or jump on people, or urinate or defecate inside buildings. An animal that engages in such disruptive behavior shows that it has not been successfully trained to function as a service animal in public settings.

The good health of the animal is the responsibility of the owner. If the animal is in ill health (bowel/bladder control problems, fleas, etc.), the owner may be asked to remove it from the university.


Emotional Support Animals

Please note that emotional support animals (ESAs) are not service animals and thus not permitted on campus.  Per the Fair Housing Act, ESAs may be permitted in University Housing if the student has a documented disability and there is a nexus or relationship between the disability and the assistance the animals provides.  For more information about the policies and procedures to request an ESA in Housing, please contact Disability Services.