Animals On Campus: 2.11


Title: ANIMALS ON CAMPUS Identification: 2.11
Effective Date: 08/27/19

FS 1001.64; 1001.65

Dr. Ken Atwater


The purpose of this procedure is to outline guidelines for having animals on College property.


HCC strives to provide a safe educational and work environment for our students, faculty, staff and visitors. The College supports the use of service and emotional support animals on campus and in the work environment in compliance with applicable state and federal laws. A service animal is permitted on College grounds and within College buildings. An emotional support animal is allowed by residents at the Hawks Landing student housing complex, but not on other College property or buildings. All other animals or pets are not permitted on College property. However, this does not pertain to animals being used for teaching or animals receiving treatment as part of the Vet Tech Program or another academic program.

SERVICE ANIMAL—Any dog or miniature horse 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. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler’s disability.

Examples of such 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.

For employees, HCC requests employees using a service animal to contact Human Resources. HCC requires registration documentation to support reasonable accommodation requests involving animals, if the need for the animal is not readily apparent. This documentation generally includes letters from a treating physician or mental health provider. Note however, that under the ADA, if it is readily apparent that the animal is a “service animal” (i.e., the dog is leading a blind individual or pulling a wheelchair), HCC will not require specific documentation that the dog is an individually-trained service dog.

Visitors are permitted to bring service animals into campus buildings, classrooms, meetings, dining areas, sports/recreational facilities, activities and events without prior approval.

SERVICE ANIMAL IN TRAINING—Any dog or miniature horse that are being trained by a trainer identified as an agent or employee of an entity specialized in training dogs to become service animals. Florida law provides that partners accompanying service animals in training, subject to certain identification and other requirements, are required to be given the same degree of access to which someone assisted by a service animal is given.

An individual with a service dog in training may be on campus and in buildings provided the individual is an approved trainer who is an agent of an organization recognized as providing such training. For employees, HCC requests the individual contact Human Resources.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMALS—Any animal providing emotional support, well-being, or comfort that eases one or more identified symptoms or effects of a documented disability is an Emotional Support Animal (ESA). These may also be referred to as comfort or therapy animals. An ESA is an animal that is not individually trained to perform specific work or tasks for an individual. A pet is not considered an ESA.

ESAs are not allowed at HCC, with the exception of Hawks Landing. ESAs are allowed in a student’s assigned housing unit at Hawks Landing once approved by the property management company.

INQUIRY ABOUT A SERVICE ANIMAL—When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Under federal regulations, only the following questions are appropriate:

  1. Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
  2. What work or task has the dog been trained to perform? Employees cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.

RESTRICTIONS TO ACCESS—HCC may prohibit or otherwise restrict the access of service animals and service animals in Training in certain HCC facilities due to health or safety restrictions and concerns or where their presence may otherwise fundamentally alter a program or activity. Any such prohibition or other restriction on access to any facility pursuant to this procedure shall be determined by the Vice President for Student Services/Enrollment Management or the Executive Director of Human Resources.

Such restrictions include, but are not limited to:

  • Food preparation areas.
  • Teaching laboratories.
  • Classrooms or other facilities or activities involving animals.
  • Mechanical rooms or custodial closets such as boiler rooms, facility equipment rooms, electrical closets, elevator control rooms, and similar spaces.
  • Areas where personal protective clothing or equipment are necessary.
  • Areas where there is a danger to the Animal such as classrooms or wood/metal/machine shops where there are sharp metal cuttings or other sharp objects on the floor or protruding from a surface, where there is hot material on the floor (e.g., molten metal or glass), where there is a high level of dust, where there are harmful chemicals or materials, or where there is moving machinery.
  • Areas where the presence of the service animal or service animal in Training would cause or require a fundamental alteration of a program or activity.
  • Exceptions to any provision of this procedure, including restrictions placed on access to specific areas or other aspects of college facilities for service animals, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF OWNERS—Animals are required to be under direct physical control at all times by means of an appropriate leash or other lead. If someone cannot use restraints because of a disability or because use would interfere with the safe and effective performance of work or tasks, then the animal must otherwise be under their control by voice control, signals, or other effective means. 

  • Animals cannot be left alone for any period of time while on College facilities.
  • Animals may not be tied to a fixture or tree or left unattended while on campus.
  • The owner of the animal is responsible for the animal’s behavior.
  • The animal must be housebroken.
  • All approved animals must be in compliance with state and local laws regarding health, licensure, vaccination, and care of the particular type of animal.

GROUNDS FOR REMOVAL OF SERVICE ANIMALS FROM HCC FACILITIES—HCC reserves the right to ask for a service animal to be removed in situations which include but are not limited to:

  • If the animal is out of control and the owner does not take effective and immediate action to control it.
  • If an animal that is not housebroken.
  • If an animal that poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others that cannot be reduced or eliminated by reasonable modifications is not permitted on campus
  • For failure to properly care for an animal. The College will report any animal abuse or neglect to the appropriate authorities, in addition to applicable disciplinary actions under the Student Code of Conduct or employee progressive discipline process.

This section is not exhaustive and other provisions of this procedure may warrant removal of animals. When an animal is removed, HCC will work with the owner to identify reasonable alternative opportunities to participate in HCC services, programs, or activities without the animal’s presence.