Service Animals Policy


Service dogs (see definition below) are allowed in UM Libraries; all other pets and animals, including assistance animals (see definition below) are not.

The owner of a service animal must maintain the animal on a leash at all times and must be in full control of the animal at all times.

Any service animal can be excluded from the library if its behavior poses a threat to the health or safety of others, or when its behavior creates a disruption.

Disputes regarding the use of service animals on campus will be resolved through the Dean of Students office at 305-284-5353.

For more information: See the University’s policy on Service and Assistance Animals


Service dogs are defined as those “specially trained to assist persons with visual disabilities, hearing impairments, or mobility impairments by performing specific tasks” (UM Office of Disability Services Policy on Service Animals). These are tasks an individual with a disability cannot perform for himself or herself. Service dogs often wear some sort of special collar, vest, or harness, but they are not required to do so.

Assistance animals (e.g. emotional support animals) are allowed in the owner’s campus residence but are not allowed in the Libraries or other campus buildings. “Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under ADA.” [ADA Requirements. Service Animals]


Library staff may consult with patrons to determine if an animal is allowed in the library.

Library staff may ask:

  • Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
  • What specific tasks is the animal trained to perform?

Examples of service animal tasks include guiding those who are blind, alerting those who are deaf to specific sounds, pulling wheelchairs, protecting someone having a seizure.

Library staff may not:

  • Ask about the specific disability.
  • Require documentation or visible designation for the service animal.

last updated: April 21, 2020