Service Animals

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a service animal is defined as "dogs that are trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities."

Texas law parallels the Americans with Disabilities Act with rights and protections for service animals. Texas law provides that service animals must be trained by organizations that generally are recognized as reputable and competent by agencies involved in the rehabilitation of people with disabilities.

Requirements for service animals and their owners at North Central Texas College include:

  • Dogs must be licensed in accordance with city regulations and wear a valid vaccination tag.
  • Any other animals that are trained for service to a person with a disability must have vaccinations appropriate for that type of animal.
  • Animals must be in good health.
  • Any service animals occupying NCTC housing must have an annual clean bill of health from a licensed veterinarian.
  • Animals must be on a leash at all times.
  • The owner of the service animal must be in full control of the animal at all times.
  • The owner is responsible for appropriate waste clean-up and overall cleanliness of the animal.

The service animal owner is responsible for the appropriate management of his or her animal in all NCTC facilities. Disruptive and/or aggressive behavior on the part of the animal may result in the owner being asked to remove the animal from NCTC facilities.

Service with Service/Assistance Animals

Students with disabilities desiring to use a service animal on campus must contact the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) to register as a student requesting to use a service animal. OSD will assist the student in determining any additional accommodations appropriate to the functional limitations of his or her disability, if needed.

A student with a disability who uses a service animal and who resides in campus-owned housing is required to alert Residential Life of the animal's status.

Etiquette with Service/Assistance Animals

  • Allow a service animal to accompany the owner at all times and everywhere on campus except where service animals specifically are prohibited.
  • Do not pet a service animal: petting a service animal when the animal is working distracts the animal from the task at hand. Service dogs typically wear a leather harness, scarf or sign to indicate they are working animals.
  • Do not feed a service animal. The service animal may have specific dietary requirements. Unusual food or food at an unexpected time may cause the animal to become ill.
  • Do not deliberately startle a service animal.
  • Do not separate or attempt to separate an owner/handler from her or his service animal.

Companion/Therapy Animals

A pet can be considered a companion or therapy animal. A therapy animal does not assist an individual with a disability in the activities of daily living. The therapy animal does not accompany a person with a disability all the time, unlike a trained service animal that is always with its owner. Thus, a therapy animal is not covered by laws protecting service animals and giving rights to service animals.

Contact OSD for more information about service and assistance animals.