college policies

Procedures for Service Animals on Campus

Procedures for Service Animals on Campus


The Student Access Services Department guides the needs of students enrolled at Macomb Community College who have a documented disability that requires the use of a service animal.  Student Access Services will work with each person on an individual basis.  In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 The Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended (2008), and Michigan Public Acts 144-147 2015.  Service animals will be allowed on campus for students with the proper documentation. 

A qualified service animal is one that has been trained to provide a specific task(s) for the benefit of an individual with a disability. The task must be directly related to the student’s disability.  Under the ADA only two animals qualify as service animals:  a trained dog or a trained miniature horse. 

All service animals on campus must be licensed in Michigan and comply with all local and state laws requiring shots and vaccinations.  Reasonable behavior is expected from service animals.  Service animals must be under the control of the student or handler at all times. 


Students who wish to have a service animal on campus must first contact Student Access Services. A Student Access Services Counselor will determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether to approve the student’s request for a Service or Assistance Animal.       

Qualified Service Animals:

A service animal is one that has been trained to provide a specific task that the student cannot do for themselves.  The task must be directly related to the person’s disability.  A service animal is not a pet.  Only two animals qualify as a service animal, a trained dog or a trained miniature horse.


A dog trained to assist a person with mobility or health impairment is a service dog. The types of duties the dog may perform include: carrying, retrieving, opening doors, ringing doorbells, activating elevator buttons, steadying a person while walking, helping a person up after the person falls, etc. Service dogs are sometimes referred to as assistance dogs.

Miniature Horse

Miniature horse service animals are trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. They range in height from 24 inches to 34 inches measured to the shoulders and generally weigh between 70 and 100 pounds. 

Other factors the college will consider:

  • The facility must be able to accommodate the horse’s type, size, and weight
  • The horse’s presence must not compromise legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operation of the facility
  • Does the horse’s presence in a specific facility compromise legitimate safety requirements?


All dogs in the state of Michigan must be licensed and comply with all state and local laws requiring vaccination.   Current proof of licensing will be required.   

Certification of Service Animals

There is no state or federal certification of service animals although there are places that advertise that they provide certification.  Having a vest, badge or other identification should not be grounds for accepting the animal as a service animal although in some cases the animal may have such materials (leader dogs for the blind are often identified).

Determination of Service Animal

Two questions will be asked to determine if an animal is a service animal.  Those questions are:

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

The work or task that the animal is trained to do must be directly related to the individual’s disability. 

Note:  Service animals in training are not protected under the ADA and not considered a service animal. Approval for service animals in training to be on campus can be granted through the Dean of Student Success Office. Please contact or 586-445-7408.

Expected Service Animal Behavior and Owner Responsibilities. 

Reasonable behavior is expected from service animals while on campus. The student/handler is responsible for care or supervision of the service animal.

  • A service animal should be on a leash or other tether unless the use of such would interfere with the service animal’s safe, effective performance of its work or tasks or if the handler is unable to because of a disability to use a leash or tether. If there is a circumstance where the animal is not tethered, the service animal must be otherwise under the handler’s control (e.g., voice, signals or other effective means)
  • Service animals must be accompanied by the student/handler at all times
  • The service dogs must be vaccinated and licensed as required by state law and/or local ordinance.  Licenses must be worn at all times.
  • Service animals should be in good health
  • Cleanliness of the service animal is the responsibility of the student/handler. They are expected to clean up and dispose of all animal waste. Students who are unable to do this must make the necessary arrangements for assistance. The College is not responsible for these services.
    • The animal should not be allowed to sniff people, tables in eating areas or personal belonging of others
    • Must not display any behaviors or noises that are disruptive to others
    • Must be trained not to be attracted to food that may be in common areas
    • Should not engage in grooming the animal on campus
  • If the animal is out of control the student may be asked to remove the animal from the premises
  • Must not block an aisle or passageway for fire and/or emergency egress

Additional Information

From time to time, the college may use pesticides, pest control devices, deicing materials, cleaning supplies, and other materials for maintenance and cleanliness. The College is not responsible for any harm to approved animals caused by such materials.

The Owner shall indemnify and hold harmless the college from all expenses, injuries or claims arising out of the Owner’s control and/or use of the animal.

The Owner must notify Student Access Services in writing if the Approved Animal is no longer needed.


Any student that would like to appeal the decision about a service animal made by the Student Access Services can do so to the ADA Compliance Officer, Associate General Counsel, following the Complaint Procedure.

Approved February 2018
Revised October 2023