Animals on Campus Policy

Policy Number: GC-4302-2021

Policy Title: Animals on Campus

Policy Owner: Vice President, Corporate Services & Vice President, Student, International & Alumni

Effective Date: November 1, 2021

Last Revised: N/A

On this Page:

  1. Purpose
  2. Application and Scope
  3. Definitions
  4. Principles
  5. Accountability and Compliance
  6. Rules
  7. Policy Revision
  8. Attachments
  9. Specific Links

1. Purpose

Mohawk College is committed to maintaining an environment that is accessible and inclusive to all members of the campus community. The purpose of this policy and related procedures is to manage and identify circumstances where animals are permitted on campus.

 

2. Application and Scope

This policy applies to all members of the Mohawk College Community including Governors, executive and senior leaders, employees, students, contractors, suppliers, volunteers and visitors. This policy also applies to external organizations that lease or rent College space, operate on College property, or who are directly connected to any College initiatives. This policy is enforced within Mohawk-owned buildings. Partnership and leased buildings including placements are enforced by those organizational policies. Animals on campus at the IAHS building will follow McMaster University policy.

 

3. Definitions

“Accredited Training Organization” is a provincially or nationally accredited training organization for service animals which is recognized by the College, in its sole discretion.

“Animals” are included but not limited to dogs, cats, goats, rabbits, hamsters, and horses brought on campus for a specific event with prior approval (See Appendix B).

“Common Areas” are publicly accessible areas within the campus environment or teaching site and include foyers, lobbies, corridors, vestibules, elevators, common conference and meeting rooms, simulation labs and restrooms.

“Competing Rights” occur when there are multiple individual accommodation requests that must be reviewed on a case by case basis to search for solutions to the greatest extent possible. These could include allergies in the presence of an Animal, fear of an Animal, or a request for a therapy animal in the presence of a Service Animal.

“Domestic animal” is any animal owned by a person and performing the function of a companion or pet.

“Service Animal” is an animal described in The Accessibility for Ontario with Disabilities Act, 2005 – Ontario Regulation 191/11, Section 80.45 subsection (4): an animal is a service animal for a person with a disability if: (a) the animal can be readily identified as one that is being used by the person for reasons relating to the person’s disability, as a result of visual indicators such as the vest or harness worn by the animal; or (b) the person provides documentation from one of the following regulated health professionals confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability. See Appendix A.

“Service Animal in Training” is an Animal in training with an Accredited Training Organization (ATO) to become a Service Animal.

“Support Animal” is an animal that provides comfort and security, but does not have training for specific tasks. A support animal, including “emotional support animals” will qualify as a service animal if a person provides documentation to confirm that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to disability. See Appendix A.

“Therapy Animal” (i.e., Exam support dog) is an animal managed and approved by a qualified third party provider to provide a service and comfort to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes and schools.

“On-Duty Police Dog” is a dog owned and managed by a Police Service.

“Owner/Handler” is any individual who is responsible for the care and control of a Service or Therapy Animal while on campus.

 

4. Principles

4.1 Accessibility

Mohawk College is committed to standards of accessibility in keeping with AODA Provincial Legislation by providing goods, services, and an environment that removes barriers physically and in accessing or understanding information.

4.2 Dignity

Mohawk College respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities, encourages the principles of universal design for learning in the teaching and learning environment, and takes into consideration the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005) and the Ontario Human Right’s Commission Policy on Accessible Education for Students with Disabilities (2018)

4.3 Individualization and Inclusion

Accommodation is a means of preventing and removing barriers that impede persons with disabilities from participating fully in the educational environment in a way that is responsive to individualized accommodation needs. Persons with disabilities must be given an opportunity equal to that given to others to obtain, use and benefit from the goods or services.

 

5. Accountability and Compliance

5.1 Accountability Framework

This policy has been approved by the Senior Leadership Team.

5.2 Compliance

The Vice-President Corporate Services and the Vice President, Student Services, International and Alumni will ensure that this policy is applied and that actions comply with applicable legislation.

 

6. Rules

6.1 Service Animals

Mohawk College welcomes and provides equitable access for persons with disabilities accompanied by a service animal to all college facilities.

  • Students requiring a service animal as a disability accommodation are required to register with Accessible Learning Services (ALS) and provide a letter from a Registered Healthcare Professional confirming the accommodation need.
  • Employees are required to submit documentation to the Human Resources Return to Work Consultant, in support of any requested, temporary or permanent accommodations requiring the provision of a service animal.
  • Visitors may need to be prepared to demonstrate accommodation need for service animal if requested by Mohawk Security Services.
  • Persons using service animals will be permitted to enter the facility with the service animal and will be permitted to keep the animal with them.
  • Service Animals must wear a vest or harness that readily identifies the animal as a working animal.
  • For persons using support animals as an accommodation, it may not be readily obvious as to how the animal is supporting the person as support animals are not required to wear a vest or harness that readily identifies the animal as a working animal. Support animals qualify as service animals when documentation of the accommodation need is provided.
  • In situations where students are on placement, they follow the practices/policies of the specific agency.

6.2 Service Animals in Training

  • Are allowed within Mohawk College facilities and buildings if the animal is being trained to support the owner/handler who is using the animal for accommodation purposes while on campus.
  • Requests to bring Service Animals in Training on campus for reasons other than direct support of an owner/handler who is using the animal for accommodation purposes while on campus will be reviewed through submission of Appendix B, Animals on Campus Application.
  • All persons or organizations wishing to bring a Service Animal in Training into a college building, are required to complete Appendix B, Animals on Campus Application.

6.3 Domestic Animals

  • May not be used, housed, or accommodated in College buildings or work areas.
  • Are permitted outside of the College Buildings for the purpose of walking or exercising, but shall be on a leash and under control at all times.

6.4 Therapy Animals

  • May attend at Mohawk College for sanctioned events with prior approval.
  • Persons or organizations wishing to bring a Therapy Animal on campus are required to complete Appendix B, Animals on Campus Application.

6.5 On-Duty Police Dogs

On-duty police dogs are allowed access to all campus areas.

6.6 Responsibilities of Owners/Handlers for all Animals

  • Control the animal while on Mohawk College properties ensuring that the animal does not jeopardize the health and safety of any member of the college, including other animals, does not cause disruption to the educational environment, or damage College property. Owners/handlers are responsible for any damages to College property caused by the service animal.
  • Clean up all excrement immediately and dispose of in an appropriate manner.
  • Ensure the animal is properly cared for (e.g., provided food, water).
  • Follow the provincial and local municipal law related to ownership of animals including immunization, licensing, noise, large animal and dangerous animals. More information can be found at Dog Owners' Liability Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. D.16.

6.7 Allergies or Fear of Animals

Allergies and/or fear of an animal may not be sufficient circumstances to exclude an animal on campus. In some situations, a person’s fear or allergic reaction to the animal may fall within the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s definition of competing human rights.

All efforts will be made to respectfully accommodate individuals on a case by case basis to the greatest extent possible while at Mohawk College.

A person with a disability, who uses a service animal, will not be denied access to any space that is open to the public, such as places where food is normally served or sold, or denied access, or refused service, because others have allergies or express a fear of the service animal.

Mohawk College adheres to the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC’s) framework when addressing issues of competing rights. Questions or concerns about competing rights can be forwarded to equityandinclusion [at] mohawkcollege.ca.

 

7. Policy Revision

7.1 Revision Date

November 2025

7.2 Responsibility

The Vice President, Corporate Services and the Vice President Student Services will review this policy every five years, or earlier as required

 

8. Attachments

 

9. Specific Links


Appendix A - AODA Definition of Services Animal

According to the Accessibility for Ontario with Disabilities Act, 2005 – Ontario Regulation 191/11, Section 80.45 subsection (4): an animal is a service animal for a person with a disability if:

  • (a) the animal can be readily identified as one that is being used by the person for reasons relating to the person’s disability, as a result of visual indicators such as the vest or harness worn by the animal; or
  • (b) the person provides documentation from one of the following regulated health professionals confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability:
    • i. A member of the College of Audiologists and Speech/Language Pathologists of Ontario.
    • ii. A member of the College of Chiropractors of Ontario.
    • iii. A member of the College of Nurses of Ontario.
    • iv. A member of the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario.
    • v. A member of the College of Optometrists of Ontario.
    • vi. A member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.
    • vii. A member of the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario.
    • viii. A member of the College of Psychologists of Ontario.
    • ix. A member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists and Registered Mental Health Therapists of Ontario.