Domestic Animals are not permitted on campus and may not be left in vehicles on campus property.
Law Enforcement Agency (Patrol) Animals and Search and Rescue Animals shall be permitted on campus in accordance with federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and ordinances. Therapy Dogs approved through A-B Tech’s Volunteers Program (see Policy and Procedure #513) are permitted on campus.
In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, and state law, A-B Tech may be required to accommodate an otherwise qualified individual with a disability by making a reasonable modification in its services, programs, or activities. This procedure addresses the use of Service Animals and Service Animals in Training (referred to as “Service Animal(s)” throughout this procedure), and Animals as an Accommodation on campus by qualified individuals with disabilities or individuals authorized to provide training.
The Americans with Disabilities Act provides that businesses and other entities that serve the public must allow people with disabilities to bring their Service Animals into all areas of the facility where customers and other members of the public are allowed to go. For purposes of this procedure, areas include all classrooms, labs, and other educational and social spaces where a student would go in the course of enrollment in the College.
If another person on campus has a covered disability under the ADA and it includes an allergic reaction to animals, and that person has contact with a Service Animal, a request for accommodation should be made by the individual to the Director of Human Resources (employees) or the Associate Director of Support Services (students). All facts surrounding the concern will be considered in an effort to resolve the concern and provide reasonable accommodation for both individuals.
If a student has a documented disability covered by the ADA and requires an Animal as an Accommodation for access, the student is required to request services from the Support Services Office to receive necessary accommodations. Appropriate documentation of the disability is required and accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis.
Responsibilities of the Person with a Disability
The care and supervision of a Service Animal or an Animal as an Accommodation is the responsibility of the person with a disability who is using the animal’s services. This individual must ensure the animal is in good health, is current on required immunizations, and is licensed in accordance with Buncombe County and Asheville City regulations. The burden of proof of licensure and immunizations remains with the person with a disability.
Dogs must wear a rabies tab at all times. (NC Rabies Law- N.C.G.S. §130A-185)
The Service Animal or Animal as an Accommodation must be under the control of the person with a disability or handler at all times. A Service Animal or Animal as an Accommodation must be restrained by a leash or other appropriate device that does not exceed six (6) feet in length or otherwise be under the control of the person with a disability if the leash or tether will interfere with the ability of the Service Animal to perform required tasks.
Persons with a disability who have a Service Animal are encouraged, but not required, to contact the Support Services Office in the K. Ray Bailey Student Services Center to register as a student requesting accommodations. Individuals registering with this office will be provided with information about other accommodations for which the individual may be eligible. Individuals with Service Animals on other campus sites may contact the Support Services Office via phone at 828-398-7581 or online at Support Services.
Persons with a disability requiring an Animal as an Accommodation are required to contact the Support Services Office in the K. Ray Bailey Student Services Center to determine specific accommodations for which the individual may be eligible prior to being permitted to bring an animal to campus. Individuals approved for accommodations which include an animal will receive a letter of accommodation that must be kept with the animal at all times and must be provided to any campus official upon request.
Responsibilities of the College Community
If the need for a Service Animal is clear, individuals may not question the presence of the animal on campus. If the need for a Service Animal is not apparent, members of the campus community are permitted to ask the individual two questions:
- Is the animal required because of a disability?
- What work or task(s) has the animal been individually trained to perform?
At no point may campus community members require a Service Animal to demonstrate the tasks for which they have been trained nor may they inquire as to the nature of the individual’s disability.
If an individual indicates the animal is an Animal as an Accommodation (oftentimes referred to as an Emotional Support (“Comfort”) Animal in popular vernacular), the letter of accommodation must be provided to the requesting college official. If the letter of accommodation is not in the possession of the individual, the college official should contact Support Services for verification of accommodation or the animal may be removed from campus.
Individuals with medical issues who may be impacted by the presence of a Service Animal or an Animal as an Accommodation should communicate with Support Services or Human Resources if they have a concern about exposure to said animal. The individual with the concern will be asked to provide medical documentation that identifies a disability and the need for a reasonable accommodation.
Consequences for Violations
The College has the authority to remove a Service Animal or Animal as an Accommodation from its facilities or properties if the animal becomes unruly or disruptive, unclean and/or unhealthy to the extent that the animal’s behavior or condition poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others or otherwise causes a fundamental alteration in the College’s services, programs, or activities. The person with a disability is responsible for the costs of repair to any damage to College property caused by the service animal.
It is a Class 3 misdemeanor “to disguise an animal as a service animal or service animal in training” (N.C.G.S. § 168-4.5). In other words, it is a crime under North Carolina law to attempt to obtain access for an animal under the false pretense that it is a service animal. In addition, it is a violation of the Asheville Animal Ordinance to conceal any animal for the purpose of evading any federal, state or local law.
Additionally, any student who violates any portion of this procedure is subject to discipline under the Student Code of Conduct in addition to any applicable federal, state, or local laws.