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Counseling & Health Services
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711
Counseling: (727) 864-8248
Health: (727) 864-8326
Counseling Services Hours
Monday - Friday 8:30am - 5:00pm
Health Services Hours
Monday - Friday 8:30am - 5:00pm
Emotional Support Animals and Service Animals
Eckerd welcomes the presence of pets on campus, understanding the emotional support function many pets provide. Pets provide unconditional love, and help students understand the importance of caring for another living creature. One of the reasons Eckerd’s pet policy was created was to provide students attending classes and living on-campus the opportunity to live with their family pets in their residence halls, recognizing the positive support of pets. As such, the College expects all students with pets to abide by the guidelines of the pet policy. Only animals classified as Emotional Support Animals and/or Service Animals, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended, the Fair Housing Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, are allowed to live on-campus outside the guidelines established by the pet policy.
Emotional Support Animals: For animals to be designed as Emotional Support Animals, students are required to demonstrate that their animal is a reasonable accommodation for an emotional or mental health disability (defined as an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities). Demonstrating this need requires documentation from a treating medical or mental health provider (not related to the student) certifying that the Emotional Support Animal is part of a prescribed treatment plan for the disabling condition and alleviates symptoms or effects of a disability. Documentation must be submitted with a request to the Office of Disability Support. Approved emotional support animals are required to live in designated pet houses, unless a specific or particular need precludes such an arrangement.
Students must receive Emotional Support Animal designation from the Office of Disability Support prior to bringing their animal to campus. If students are cited for a violation to the pet policy, they must remedy the violation before requesting Emotional Support Animal designation for their animal. Animals living on-campus in violation of the pet policy may not remain on-campus pending the Office of Disability Support's review and determination of an Emotional Support Animal request.
Service Animals: Service Animals are defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended as “dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.” (see this link for the ADA definition). Service animals are working animals, and the work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Further, the ADA states that “dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.” Only registered service animals are allowed to accompany students into academic buildings or other non-residential facilities.
Emotional Support Animals and Service Animals are approved through the Office of Disability Support, and are not classified as pets. As a result, Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals are encouraged, but not required, to be registered with the Pet Council.
Students with Emotional Support Animals and Service Animals are encouraged to contact Disability Support Services prior to bringing their animal on campus. Accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis, pursuant to the College's disability policies, found at this link.
Questions regarding these policies should be directed to Scott Strader, PhD, Director of Counseling & Disability Support Services, and the designated Section 504 Disability Coordinator, at 727-864-8248 or firstname.lastname@example.org.