Emotional Support Animals

A student who seeks to bring an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) or Therapy animal, into on campus housing, a NMSU classroom, laboratory, or other learning environment as an accommodation is required to register with the Disability Access Services office and follow the process for obtaining academic and/or housing accommodations.

The student will need to complete and submit a Housing/ESA Accommodation Application for accommodations, submit the ESA Verification Form, and participate in an interactive interview to discuss supporting documentation and barriers the emotioanl support animal will mitigate. Specific information that should be included in the submitted documentation includes:  

  1. whether the student has a physical or mental health impairment
  2. whether the student’s impairment substantially limits a major life activity or major bodily function; 
  3. whether the student needs the eotional support animal either because it performs works or tasks for the student with the disability or because it provides therapeutic emotional support to alleviate a symptom or effect of the disability and is not merely a pet; and
  4. the healthcare professional must sign and date the document verifying their licensure and credentials.

Documentation obtained online may not be sufficient to establish the need for an emotional support animal as an accommodation.

An emotional support animal cannot be brought on campus housing until it is approved through the Disability Access Services office. Be advised that students are required to have a tag for their approved ESA issued by the DAS office. Approved ESA's must be wearing the tag at all times.

Service Animals

Students do not have to register their service animals with Disability Access Services. Service animals can only be dogs or miniature horses.

When it is not obvious what service a service animal provides, only the following two questions can be asked.

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

If you have questions about service animals on campus? For the complete revised Americans with Disability Act Requirements on Service Animals (published by the Department of Justice), please check out the webpage: www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm

You can also reference the Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA to further understand how the ADA’s service animal provisions apply to persons with disabilities. 

Please also reference the NMSU Policy on Assistive, Service, and Companion Animals on University Premises.