Service Animal Policy
Before visiting the University Health Center with a service animal, please review the following UHC policy. There are areas of the health center that are fully restricted, and other areas that are conditionally restricted and are only accessible on a case-by-case basis. Please refer to the UGA and UHC policies below for details. A link to the UGA policy is also provided.
A. The University Health Center (UHC) follows federal and state laws regarding Service Animals and Service Animals In Training.
B. UHC will follow UGA policies regarding Service Animals and Service Animals In Training:
- UGA Equal Opportunity Office (EOO) website regarding the UGA Service Animal Policy
- According to UGA policy and Georgia law, Service Animals In Training are to be allowed the same level of access to UGA facilities, programs, services, and activities as Service Animals.
- There are differences, however, in how Service Animals and Service Animals In Training and their Handlers (for Service Animals) and Partners (for Service Animals In Training) can be addressed.
- According to UGA policy, Service Animals In Training must be registered with the UGA Disability Resource Center (DRC) and the animal must be wearing a Red UGA Registration Tag while in the facility. UGA Disability Resource Center (DRC) website regarding registering Service Animals In Training
C. When it is obvious what service an animal provides, employees may not ask questions of the Handler. Example: A blind Handler with a guide dog. When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, employees may ask the following two questions:
- Is the dog a Service Animal required because of a disability? Yes or No
- What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
- The work or task must be directly related to the Handler’s disability. Appropriate work or tasks include but are not limited to: (a) alerting Handlers who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds; (b) pulling a wheelchair; (c) alerting Handlers to the presence of allergens; (d) retrieving medicine or a telephone; (e) providing assistance with balance and stability; and (f) preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors.
- The crime deterrent effects of an animal’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute appropriate work or tasks for purposes of this policy.
D. For Service Animals In Training, the following questions may be asked of their Partners:
- Is the dog a Service Animal In Training as defined by UGA policy? Yes or No
- Is the animal wearing a Red UGA Registration Tag that is required at all times while in the facility?
E. UHC employees are to minimize contact with animals as well as their saliva, dander, urine, and feces.
F. Restricted Areas: Service Animals and Service Animals In Training are allowed in all areas of the Health Center except the following:
- Clinic areas within the surgical instrument drop zone such as Dental Clinic Operatories and all Clinic Procedure Rooms. This precaution is to protect the animals from being injured by sharp instruments and to prevent barriers to access by the medical team members to patients with emergent or potentially emergent conditions. The Service Animal or Service Animal In Training must be allowed in the procedure room or operatory and within voice control of the Handler or Partner.
- UHC Allergy & Travel Clinic in which patients are located who have allergies to pet dander, especially in a concentrated area.
- Food preparation areas.
- Mechanical rooms and custodial closets such as boiler rooms, facility equipment rooms, elevator control rooms, and data closets.
G. Injuries to Handlers or Partners; UHC staff, patients, clients, visitors; or Service Animals or Service Animals In Training must be immediately reported to appropriate authorities.
H. Handlers or Partners are required to remove a Service Animal or Service Animal In Training that is unruly or disruptive (e.g. biting or attempting to bite, barking, running around, jumping at or up on people or other excessive physical activity).
I. Handlers or Partners may not bring an ill Service Animal or Service Animal In Training to the Health Center.
J. Handlers or Partners are required to ensure their Service Animal or Service Animal In Training is kept clean and well groomed.
If a Service Animal or Service Animal In Training, in the reasonable opinion of a responsible employee, is considered to be unhygienic (e.g., flea-infested, foul-smelling, or inadequately groomed as may be appropriate for the breed and other physical characteristics of the particular animal), its Handler or Partner may be asked to remove the animal from the Health Center until such conditions are corrected.
K. Handlers or Partners are required to ensure their Service Animal or Service Animal In Training is housebroken. In the event of an isolated incident of a Service Animal or Service Animal In Training failing to control its bodily eliminations due to illness or accident, the Handler or Partner is responsible for immediately and properly cleaning up and disposing of any bodily fluids or solid waste whether indoors or outdoors. Handlers or Partners are required to have in their possession at all times when accompanied by their Service Animal or Service Animal In Training appropriate and sufficient cleaning materials and disposal bags whenever their animal is present inside UGA facilities or on UGA property.
L. Handlers or Partners may not relinquish control of their Service Animal or Service Animal In Training.
They must make prior arrangements if they plan to undergo a medical procedure that causes them to be impaired, even temporarily.
- Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind – www.guidedog.org
- State of Georgia Office of Coordinator of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – www.ada.georgia.gov
- U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Disability Rights Section Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Service Animals and the ADA – www.ada.gov