Service animals & assistance animals

Service Animals

The Office for Disability Equity is available for questions or clarification regarding service animals. We do not issue an identification card for service animals.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Montana Human Rights Act, individuals with disabilities may be accompanied by their service animals on all University of Montana campuses.

What is a Service Animal?

A service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks that are related to the individual’s impairment. If the animal meets this definition, it is considered a service animal regardless of whether it has been certified or licensed as a service animal by a training program or by a state or local government.

Federal law does not require the individual to provide documentation that an animal has been trained as a service animal. Although the law requires only a service animal in training to be appropriately marked, we recommend that service animals wear a visible identification such as a cape, harness, backpack that identifies that the animal is a service animal.

Resources

Assistance Animals or Emotional Support Animals

Individuals with disabilities may be allowed to have assistance animals within campus housing facilities. Assistance animals are identified under the Fair Housing Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

What is an Assistance Animal?

Assistance animals in housing provide emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person's disability. Please note we do not use the term "companion animal."

Process

In partnership with UM Housing, we serve as the campus authority to verify disability for students or their family members who plan to bring an assistance animal to the University of Montana’s housing facilities.

Before moving into any university housing facility, students, who wish to have an assistance animal in housing, must notify UM Housing and proceed with the following steps by contacting us:

  • Make an appointment with a coordinator.
  • Complete the appointment that will address the assistance animal verification process. 
  • Provide us with the verification completed by your qualified professional who can verify that the assistance animal is necessary for housing. We will deny the request if there is a lack of evidence of the animal's necessity to the individual.

After we verify

  • Call UM Housing at 406-243-2611 and schedule a follow-up meeting. 
  • Complete the meeting with UM Housing that will address prior violations in university housing and roommate compatibility.
  • Provide UM Housing with the animal's vaccination records. 

Resources