Assistance Animals


The information below explains Iowa State University’s (ISU) general information and procedures related to the use of Assistance Animals in providing disability accommodations to students, faculty, staff, and visitors to university buildings and on university property.  The underlying “Assistance Animals” policy is located in ISU Policy Library

ISU is committed to ensure that programs are free from discrimination and harassment based upon protected class, including physical and/or mental disability.


In order to understand this policy and related procedures, it is important to have a clear understanding of the terms referenced.  Below find several key definitions or on the Assistance Animals Policy.

Assistance Animal: 

A general term referring to any animal providing accommodation to an individual with a disability.  As used within this policy, an assistance animal may be either a service animal or an emotional support animal.  Assistance Animals are not considered pets.

Service Animal:  

A service animal is individually trained to do specific work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, including but not limited to physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disabilities.  The specific work or tasks performed by the service animal for the benefit of the individual must be directly related to the individual´s disability.

Emotional Support Animal: 

An emotional support animal is any species of animal providing emotional support, well-being, or comfort that eases one or more identified symptoms or effects of a disability.   


A pet is any animal kept for ordinary use and companionship. 


Any ISU student residing in university housing and/or paying guests registered for university guest or conference housing operated by the Department of Residence (DOR).

Making a Request to have an Assistance Animal on Campus

All emotional support animals must be authorized to be on ISU campus as indicated below. We appreciate being informed about the presence of all assistance animals on campus.

  • Employee accommodation requests will be reviewed by University Human Resources Employee Relations/Labor Relations (UHR ER/LR). Questions pertaining to an employee’s assistance animal (including requests to use a service animal as an accommodation) may be directed to UHR ER/LR at 515-294-4800 or 877-477-7485.

Frequently Asked Questions

The U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA.