ESA (Emotional Support Animal)

ESA (Emotional Support Animal)

Emotional Support Animal Policy for Residential Living
Effective: 8/19/15
Updated: 5/31/17
Contact: 504 and Compliance Coordinator

The Fair Housing Act
The Fair Housing Act regulation provides that emotional support animals be considered a reasonable accommodation in residential buildings, for those students who qualify for such an accommodation. This regulation applies to residential housing only; emotional support animals are not allowed in other areas on campus.

Definition of Emotional Support Animal
An emotional support animal (ESA) is a companion animal which provides therapeutic benefit, such as alleviating or mitigating some symptoms of a person’s disability. This policy does not address service animals, which are addressed and covered under separate regulations by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA). This policy does not apply to pets, which are animals kept for ordinary use and companionship unrelated to a disability. Pets are prohibited on the William Jewell College campus.

 Requests for the Use of an ESA
Students who are interested in requesting an ESA accommodation should complete a Request for Accommodation application as soon as the need is recognized. This application is located at The Disability Services office requests 3-4 weeks to process the application and provide a decision. An ESA will not be permitted in the applicant’s residence until formal approval has been communicated through email notification and the applicant has signed and agreed to abide by this policy.

Documentation Guidelines
The Request for Accommodation application is the general application used by any individual who wishes to request an accommodation at the College. The application includes a documentation requirement. Guidelines for documentation can be found here: Documentation Guidelines for Psychiatric Disability and are listed below:

The Office of Disability Services will accept diagnoses of psychiatric disorders that are based on appropriate diagnostic evaluations. The evaluation must be conducted by a trained and qualified professional (i.e., psychiatrist, psychologist, neuropsychologist or other certified and/or licensed mental health or medical professional or student clinician being supervised by a qualified professional).

Currency of Documentation: The provision of all reasonable accommodations, adjustments, and auxiliary services are based upon assessment of the current impact and limitations of the disorder on the student’s academic performance and/or residential status. Therefore, it is in the student’s best interest to provide recent and appropriate documentation relevant to the student’s learning environment and/or living situation. The documentation, in general, must be no more than one year old and more recent documentation may be required in some cases. Due to the nature of psychiatric disorders, updated reports may be requested.

The report should be printed on professional letterhead and may not be written by an immediate family member of the individual. The report should be faxed to the Disability Services office at 816-415-5093 or mailed to the Disability Services office, Box 1009, Attn: Missy Henry, 500 College Hill, Liberty, MO 64068.

Diagnostic Report
A comprehensive report should contain the following information:

  1. A clear statement of the disability, including the diagnosis and description of severity.
  2. A summary of current symptoms.
  3. Date of diagnosis and approximate date of onset and prognosis of the disorder.
  4. A summary of historical information, diagnostic interview, and assessment procedures/evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis (if applicable). A summary of evaluation results, including standardized or percentile scores should also be included.
  5. Statement of current impact and limitations of the disorder on the student’s academic performance and/or residential status.
  6. Medical information relating to the student’s needs, to include current treatments and the impact of medication on the student’s ability to meet the demands of the postsecondary environment.
  7. Recommendations for academic and/or housing accommodations to compensate for the disorder. Each recommended accommodation must include a rationale. Please indicate effective dates and duration for each accommodation as appropriate (i.e. extended testing time for the current academic year, a single room accommodation for one semester,)
  8. The name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator.
  9. The College reserves the right to request additional documentation, when necessary, to fully evaluate any safety or health risks that may be associated with the residential status of the student.
  10. Individuals requesting an ESA (Emotional Support Animal) accommodation should also include the following information in their documentation:
    1. The relationship between the disability and the relief the animal provides.
    2. Information that demonstrates the animal is necessary in order for the resident to use and enjoy his/her residential dwelling.

Further assessment and/or documentation by an appropriate professional may be required if there are co-existing disabilities indicated. If learning, attentional, or physical disorders are involved, please refer to the documentation guidelines for those specific disabilities.

Resident Responsibilities: For the purpose of this policy, “Resident” refers to a student who has been approved for an emotional support animal accommodation. The resident responsibilities outlined below are intended to insure a safe and healthy environment for the emotional support animal, the resident, and the Jewell Community at large.

The Director of Residence Life, in collaboration with the Office of Disability Services, reserves the right to permanently remove any animal at any time as a result of the violation or subsequent violations of this policy, and to contact the emergency contact provided or proper authorities to have the animal removed from campus. Resident Directors, at their discretion, may temporarily remove an animal, pending further investigation, if they feel the animal is in immediate danger or is a threat to others in the immediate area.

  1. Residents, who are approved for an emotional support animal as an accommodation, must comply with all state and local animal ordinances and are subject to all policies and guidelines regarding Residence Life as outlined in the Student Handbook. (Please see Owning Animals in Liberty below)
  2. Residents must comply with any ordinances that require licenses, registration, collars, I.D. tags, etc. All dogs and cats must wear current vaccinations and identification tags at all times.
  3. The animal is not to be left alone for any extended period of time (generally more than 6 hours) in the resident’s room. The animal must be kept in an appropriate and well-suited containment unit or cage in the room of the resident while the resident is away. In the event that an emotional support animal is left alone in a room for an extended period of time and is not being properly cared for, someone from Residence Life or the Office of Disability Services will contact the resident or the emergency contact to remove the animal. Roommates are not care givers and cannot be responsible for taking care of the emotional support animal. If a resident anticipates an extended absence from his/her room, he/she must make advanced arrangements for the animal to be cared for off-campus and should notify the Residence Life office of those plans.
  4. Residents are responsible for cleaning up all animal waste, both indoors and outdoors in a timely and effective fashion. Caged animals are to be kept in an appropriately sized containment unit/cage with flooring and liners to allow for proper disposal of waste and to prevent damages to floors and surfaces.
  5. All animals must be under the control of their owners at all times, including traveling to and from the residence. All animals must either be secured in an appropriate animal containment unit/cage or be on a leash when traveling to and from the resident’s room, and in common areas within the residence. The resident must be in control of the animal at all times in common areas of the residence. Animals are not allowed in common residential areas without the resident.
  6. Animals must be generally well-behaved, which includes no barking, whining, scratching, chewing, or aggressive behavior. Animals shall not disturb, annoy, or otherwise cause a nuisance to other members of the Jewell community. Residents are responsible for any odors, damage, noise, or any other misconduct of the animal. Residents will be financially responsible for any assessed damages and required cleaning due to non-compliance with this policy. (Please see Being Responsible for Damage Caused by the Animal below)
  7. Resident will provide to the Office of Disability Services, proof of any registered license (City of Liberty) and veterinarian recommended vaccinations, including the absence of communicable diseases such as fleas and parasites, annually or as needed thereafter.
  8. Animals must not prevent other residents from equal enjoyment of the residential living facilities.
  9. Animals should be appropriately groomed on a regular basis to prevent excessive odors, shedding, and damage to furnishings.
  10. Residents are subject to available room/building/roommate configurations that will promote and support a healthy living arrangement with their emotional support animal. This may include, but is not limited to, assigned housing without preference and single room occupancy. If a compliant concerning allergies, health concerns, phobias, or other legitimate concern is made by a roommate, suitemate, or other adjacent party, either the resident or complainant may be relocated to another room, floor, or residential building.
  11. In response to a particular situation, William Jewell reserves the right to impose other reasonable conditions or restrictions on the use of an ESA, if necessary to ensure the health, safety and reasonable enjoyment of others. Animals that are considered a direct threat to the safety of the campus community are prohibited on campus.
  12. Please remember that ESA’s are not allowed in any campus buildings, and are only allowed inside the residential building in which the resident resides. Animals are not approved to accompany the student to extra-curricular activities on-campus, the dining hall, or other official activities off-campus, such as team and academic related traveling.

Owning Animals in Liberty, MO (taken from the City of Liberty, MO website)

  1. All dogs over the age of four months must be vaccinated against rabies and licensed with the City.
  2. Licenses are available at the Liberty Animal Shelter, all local veterinarians and at City Hall. Proof of vaccination must be provided. The license tags must be displayed on the dog’s collar at all times.
  3. All female dogs in heat are required to be confined within a building, in a way that they will not be accessible to other dogs except for planned breeding.
  4. There are limitations to the number of animals that one can own. No owner shall own, keep or harbor more than a total combination of four (4) dogs and/or cats over the age of four months.
  5. The City Code states that animals should be properly cared for. Animals of any species must be under restraint at all times, and dog owners cannot allow their dogs to become a public nuisance by barking or howling.
  6. Animals, which are a physical threat to humans or other animals, or are wild by nature, are prohibited under the code. An animal owner must follow special provisions once an animal has bitten an individual or another animal.
  7. It is unlawful to keep, harbor, own or in any way possess any pit bull dog within the limits of the City of Liberty. “Pit bull dog” is defined to mean:
    – The bull terrier breed of dog
    – Staffordshire bull terrier breed of dog
    – The American pit bull terrier breed of dog
    – The American Staffordshire terrier breed of dog
    – Dogs of mixed breed or other breeds than listed above which is known as pit bulls, pit bull dogs, or pit bull terriers
    – Any dog which has the appearance and characteristics of being predominantly of these breeds

Being Responsible for Damage Caused by the Animal – Owners are personally responsible for any damage caused by their animals and must take appropriate precautions to prevent property damage. The owner will be required to pay for any damages caused by the animal.

  1. An individual with an animal covered by this policy in a residence hall has an obligation to make sure that his/her residence is as clean and damage-free as the original standard, excepting normal wear and tear. When the individual moves out of residential housing or no longer owns the animal, the residence will be assessed to determine if damage to College property or extraordinary cleaning costs are attributable to the animal. If so, the owner will be financially responsible for associated costs. The College maintains the right to conduct facility inspections for the purpose of assessing damage caused by the animal or otherwise determining the owner’s compliance with this policy.


William Jewell College will accept no responsibility for the care of any emotional support animal. The resident must provide all care and incur all costs associated with the maintenance and care of the animal, as well as any additional cost associated with damages or cleaning of the residence. The resident must provide an alternative or emergency contact who will assume responsibility for the animal in cases of abandonment and/or policy violations resulting in permanent removal of the animal from campus.

__________________________________________agrees to abide by all the directives set forth in the Emotional Support Animal Policy for Residential Living and understands failure to comply could result in permanent removal of the ESA.

Date:____________________   Resident Name (Please print):

Resident Signature:__________________________________________________________

Emergency Contact Name (1):_____________________________________________________

Phone number:______________________________________________________________

Emergency Contact Name (2):_____________________________________________________

Phone number:______________________________________________________________


Office Use Only:

Application Completion Date:

Student Notification Date:

504 and Compliance Coordinator Signature: