Animals in Outdoor Spaces

Members of the community are permitted to bring animals to outdoor spaces, provided they comply with all applicable local and federal laws and the conditions in Section III in the Animals on the Georgetown Law Campus Policy.

Animals in Indoor Spaces

Animals are generally not permitted in University buildings with some exceptions, such as trained service and emotional support animals determined to be a reasonable accommodation by Accessibility Services.

Emotional Support Animals

Emotional support animals may be approved as an accommodation for residents living in Gewirz under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). Students requesting an emotional support animal to live with them in Gewirz must register with Accessibility Services. Under the FHA, “an individual with a disability may have the right to have an animal other than a dog in his or her home (University residence hall) if the animal qualifies as a ‘reasonable accommodation’ that is necessary to afford the individual equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling, assuming that the animal does not pose a direct threat.” These provisions apply only to residents of University residence. In a case where an animal meets the FHA definition of an emotional support animal but not the ADA definition of a service animal, the animal would not be permitted to accompany the student to areas other than their housing facility.

Service Animals

The ADA defines a service animal as a dog or other animal trained to assist an individual with a disability, regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government. A service animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability in all areas where members of the public are allowed to go, including buildings other than Gewirz. This does not include places where there is a health, environmental, or safety hazard. Examples of such work or tasks may include:

  • Guiding a person who is blind
  • Alerting a person who is deaf
  • Pulling a wheelchair
  • Alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure
  • Reminding a person with a mental illness to take prescribed medications
  • Calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack or performing other duties

An individual with a disability cannot be asked for proof that the animal is trained or licensed as a service animal, or require the animal to wear a vest. If the need for a service animal is obvious (e.g., a dog is guiding an individual who is blind), the student cannot be asked any questions. In order to determine if an animal is a service animal, only the following two questions may be asked:

  1. Is this animal required because of a disability?
  2. What work or task has this animal been trained to perform?

The following questions are addressed within IDEAA’s Guidelines for Service and Assistance Animals on Georgetown’s Campuses:

  • Must service animals be restrained or leashed?
  • Under what circumstance can a service animal be asked to leave or not allowed participation on campus?
  • What happens if the service animal becomes aggressive, individuals behave aggressively towards the service animal, or there is an animal-caused injury?
  • What happens if someone is allergic to or fears the animal?
  • Must a service animal in training be allowed on campus?