Service Animal/Emotional Support Animal Policy

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.


The 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:
    • 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.


    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].

    To view the complete UNH Service Animal Statement, click on the link below. 

    UNH Service Animal Statement 

    Title XII Public Safety & Welfare Section 167-D:8 II. It is unlawful for any person to fit an animal with a collar, leash, vest sign, or harness of the type which represents that the animal is a service animal, or service animal tag issued under RSA 466:8 or to request a service tag issued under RSA 466:8 if in fact said animal is not a service animal. (State of NH)

    Department of Justice: Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA 

    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.

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, contact SAS (201 Smith Hall,, 603.862.2607, 7.1.1 NH Relay).

Guidelines for Requesting an Emotional Support Animal

Requests for Housing Accommodations, including ESAs, is made through SAS and should be initiated as part of the Housing Application (see: Housing Accommodations).

Approved ESA requests made during the semester will be determined by Housing when it is feasible to implement, which may occur at semester break.

The SAS process for requesting an ESA in your residence on campus is the same as what is used for other accommodations.

  • Collect documentation (therapist, psychologist, etc.). The only way to document an ESA as such is through the healthcare or human service provider’s letter.
    • Identify the disability and how it was determined
    • Address the current impact of the disability
    • Identify the current, ongoing relationship between the professional writing the letter and the student, and how ESA fits into treatment/management plan
  • Evaluate the information provided re: necessity for an ESA in student housing
  • Meet with the student to discuss

**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.**

To view the complete UNH Emotional Support Animal Policy, click on the link below. 

UNH Emotional Support Animal Policy 

UNH Pet Policy on Campus 

MUB Animal Policies

University Dining Policy