Student Access and Disability Services

Emotional Support Animals

An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is defined as an animal with a primary  role of providing emotional comfort to a person with a disability. ESAs do not perform work or tasks that would qualify them as a service animal under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

*If you do not have an established or ongoing mental healthcare provider or your diagnosis (diagnoses) do not rise to the level of a disability, there are other options to bring a pet rather than an Emotional Support Animal to campus, you might want to explore the Pet Dorm through Residence Life here: Pet Dorm.

Approval Process for Emotional Assistance/Support Animal.

*It is strongly recommended that any application requesting an Emotional Support Animal for the Fall 2021 semester be submitted at least 30 days prior to move in week, if there is missing or unclear information this could delay the approval process.  Decisions will be made in June/July if all documentation is complete and clearly documented.

This is an application for a housing accommodation, therefore has to be applied for each academic year before the start of the school year.  This policy is not applicable to University buildings beyond the University owned and operated apartments and residence halls.  Emotional support animals are not allowed in classrooms or other university buildings (non-residence buildings) under housing accommodations.

Before the Emotional Assistance/Support Animal approval process can begin, each of the following steps must be completed.

Step 1: Read through the Procedure-Process           PDF Procedure-Process

Step 2: Submit the following required documentation to the Office of Student Access and Disability Services (OSA):

  • Emotional Support Animal Request Form 
  • Reasonable Accommodation Form-signed by student and completed by established and ongoing treatment provider.
    • PDF Version RAF
    • Please note it is highly recommended that you take this form to a regularly scheduled appointment with your mental healthcare professional to discuss in detail with your established and ongoing treatment provider (a provider you see regularly that treats you for the condition(s) you are seeking an ESA- psychiatrist, counselor, psychiatric nurse practitioner, someone that specializes in this area/ESAs) and both read through carefully so they may complete and provide appropriate and detailed answers/recommendations to avoid delays in the process.
  • Copy of the City of Kirksville Animal Registration (Animal license issued by City of Kirksville). Please email.
  • Copy of Veterinary Records for animal, including pet health history and vaccinations and/or free of communicable disease. (this documentation MUST show that ESA has been spayed or neutered). Please email.
  • Photos of animal – a 5×7 of the front and side of the animal. However, email is preferred, please email.

Step 3: OSA will review documentation and provide decision to student applicant and Residence Life

Step 4: Once student has received approval from OSA they may THEN bring the animal to campus.


Appeals of the Disability Services Office decision should follow the OSA Appeals Policy (available online at:

Conflicts Over the Use of Emotional Support Animals

The use of emotional assistance animals may negatively affect others with allergies, respiratory impairments and other relevant disabling conditions. Conflict resolution will be managed by OSA, Residence Life, and the Vice President for Student Affairs.  Evidence of disability and its impact may be required of those negatively affected by the use of the animals by these offices.