By Blake Tibbs
LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – We’ve probably all seen service animals before. Most commonly a seeing-eye dog for the blind. This year on campus there are new rules in relation to service animals. The university has decided to introduce students to emotional support animals (ESA). Greg Holtmeyer, coordinator for LU Access and Abilities, provides insight on the new regulations.
According to Holtmeyer, service animals are protected by a federal program that provides animals for people who have symptoms such as PTSD, diabetes, epilepsy, and more. At Lincoln, if a student has a service animal, their allowed to go anywhere without requiring permission.
Only a medical professional is allowed to ask a person with a service animal two questions: Is this a service animal? What has it been trained to do?
ESA’s have a wider selection of animals and a different set of rules. They must be approved by Holtmeyer and a physician. Unfortunately, people were getting online acceptance letters for ESA’s. This is no longer acceptable as proper documentation for animals.
The size of the animal matters. They can be in the dorms but not taken to class or any other public setting on campus without permission. The animals that are excluded are birds, venomous snakes and rodents.