Service Animals

University of South Alabama street sign
"Animals don't lie. Animals don't criticize. If animals have moody days, they handle them better than most humans do." - Betty White

What is a Service Animal?

A service animal is defined 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. Miniature horses may be considered service animals in some cases. The work or task that a service animal has been trained to provide must be directly related to the functional limitations of the person’s disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals. 

An animal whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support does not qualify as a service animal.

Emotional Support / Assistant Animals

An assistance animal (therapy, comfort, or emotional support animal) is an animal that provides emotional support which alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of an individual’s disability.

Service and Assistance Animal Policy

Process Flowchart for Emotional Support Animal Request