UW–Madison Service Animal Policy
It is the policy of the University of Wisconsin–Madison that service animals assisting individuals with disabilities are generally permitted in all facilities and programs on the UW–Madison campus except as described below.
“Service animal” is defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items.
A service animal may be asked to leave a UW–Madison facility or program if the animal’s behavior or presence poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others. For example, a service animal that displays vicious behavior towards people may be excluded.
Service animals may also be excluded in areas where the presence of a service animal fundamentally alters the nature of a program or activity or is disruptive. Examples may include, but are not limited to, research labs, areas requiring protective clothing, food preparation areas, and primate labs.
In addition, animals not covered under the ADA service animal definition can be asked to leave a UW–Madison facility or program. Questions related to the use of service animals on campus should be directed to the ADA Coordinator at 263-7400.
Student requests for disability accommodations, including requests to have a service animal accompany a student on campus, in classrooms and UW housing, are determined by the McBurney Disability Resource Center, through an accommodation request and review process. Students can reach the McBurney Disability Resource Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 263-2741.
Employee requests for disability accommodations, including requests to have a service animal at work, are handled through the appropriate disability accommodation policy and procedures (academic staff, classified or faculty). Employees can view these policies at www.oed.wisc.edu/disability and may contact the Office for Equity and Diversity at 263-2378 for information and assistance.
Service animals accompanying individuals with disabilities are welcome in all areas of campus that are open to the public (except in situations determined to apply under section III above). Specific questions related to the use of service animals on the UW–Madison campus by visitors can be directed to the ADA Coordinator at 263-7400.
Any person dissatisfied with a decision concerning a service animal can use the UW–Madison ADA Accommodation Requests and Appeal/Grievance Procedures.
Facilities Access Specialist
Vaccination: Service animals must be immunized against diseases common to that type of animal. All vaccinations must be current. Dogs must wear a rabies vaccination tag [Wis. Stats. 95.21(2) (f)].
Licensing: The City of Madison ordinance [M.G.O. 23.39], following state law [Wis. Stats. 174.07(1)] requires all dogs to be licensed by the time they reach 5 months of age. Service dogs receive the license at no cost [Wis. Stats. 174.055].
Owner ID and Other Tags: The City of Madison requires dogs to wear an owner identification tag at all times [M.G.O. 23.33(7) (a)]. The dog must also wear a current rabies tag [M.G.O. 23.39(3)] and dog license tag [M.G.O.23.33 (7)].
Leash: Dogs and cats must be on a leash at all times, unless impracticable or unfeasible due to owner/keeper’s disability. [M.G.O. 23.32].
Under Control: The owner/keeper of a service animal must be in full control of the animal at all times. The care and supervision of a service animal is solely the responsibility of owner/keeper.
Cleanup Rule: The owner/keeper of a service animal must follow the City of Madison ordinance in cleaning up after the animal defecates [M.G.O. 7.322].
Health: Animals to be housed in University Housing must have an annual clean bill of health from a licensed veterinarian.
Service Dogs in Training: Wisconsin law allows service dogs in training to be admitted to facilities open to the public. Service dogs in training must wear a harness OR leash and special cape and the trainer must present credentials for the dog issued by a school for dog training.
Original policy approved on April 28, 1997, minor revision on February 15, 1999, major revisions June, 2005; July, 2007.
File last updated: May 24, 2013