Service Animal/Emotional Support Animal

UNH Service Animal Statement

The University of New Hampshire is committed to creating a diverse, welcoming, and equitable campus that recognizes the important partnership that exists between an individual with a disability and his or her service animal.

Access rights afforded to users of service animals come with the responsibility of the individual with a disability to ensure compliance with all requirements of this Statement. The individual assumes full personal liability for any damage to property or persons caused by their service animal, and UNH shall not be responsible for any harm to a service animal while on campus, including but not limited to injury to the animal caused by pest management or lawn care products.

Definition of a Service Animal (DOJ, Title II, Amended Regulation, 28 CFR Part 35.104)

  • A service animal is a dog 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.
  • With the possible exception of miniature horses, other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals.
  • The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to:  

    Animals not covered under the service animal definition can be asked to leave a UNH program or facility. [Note: emotional support/ therapeutic animals that are not within the service animal definition may be entitled to reside in UNH housing as an appropriate accommodation under the Fair Housing Act as determined on a case by case basis].

    • 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,
    • helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors.

The ADA and DOJ do not currently recognize any form of certificate, identification card, vest, or tag as proof of an animal’s designation as a service animal OR an emotional support animal.  All of these items may be considered fraudulent, regardless of the claims asserted on the ‘documentation’ items.  The "registration" and "certification" documentation purchased online does not constitute appropriate documentation.

UNH Emotional Support Animal Policy

An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is an animal that provides emotional support which alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of an individual’s disability. Appropriate documentation is required to establish that the ESA is needed for the student to use and enjoy University housing and fully engage as a student at UNH.

Unlike a service animal, an Emotional Support Animal does not perform a task for a person with a disability relating to activities of daily living or accompany that person at all times. As a result, ESAs approved for the residential setting are not permitted in other buildings, and are subject to restriction from any area with a no-pet policy. ESAs can be a reasonable accommodation to a No Pet Policy. To establish reasonable accommodations, please follow the process for requesting accommodations through SAS. For any questions,  please contact SAS (201 Smith Hall,, 603.862.2607, 7.1.1 NH Relay).

PLEASE NOTE: There are individuals and organizations that sell service animal certification or registration documents online. These documents do not convey any rights under the ADA and the Department of Justice does not recognize them as proof that the dog is a service animal.