Service and Emotional Support Animals

Syracuse University is committed to reasonably accommodate persons with disabilities who require the assistance of service or emotional support animals.


Service Animal: A “service animal” is any animal trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. The tasks a service animal provides include but are not limited to: guiding individuals with impaired vision; alerting individuals who are hearing impaired to intruders or sound; providing minimal (non-violent) protection or rescue work; pulling a wheelchair; assisting an individual during a seizure; or fetching dropped items.

Emotional Support Animal: An “emotional support animal” (“ESA”) is an animal that provides comfort to an individual with a disability upon the recommendation of a healthcare or mental health professional. An emotional support animal does not assist a person with a disability with activities of daily living but rather its role is to live with a student and alleviate the symptoms of an individual’s disability to provide equal opportunities to use and enjoy residential life at the University.

Pet: A pet is an animal kept for ordinary use and companionship unrelated to a disability. A pet is not considered a service animal or an emotional support animal, and therefore, it is not covered by this policy. Students are not allowed to have pets on University property.

To read more about Abbreviated Assistance Animal Policy – Handout [PDF].