I have to chime in on this, specifically about the difference between emotional support animals and service animals. First, let me say that it is my opinion that where a human can perform a task in the lab for a disabled student, a task that the animal would carry out when outside of the lab, that is the best way to go. We've worked with our Student Support office several times to hire student workers with plenty of lab experience to assist physically disabled students in lab, even though those students didn't rely on a service animal..
Last summer we had a student who took her dog to organic lab - a first for the department.. When I saw this, the dog was not crated or restrained in any way. It was laying on a baby blanket on the floor - OF AN ORGANIC CHEMISTRY LAB!!! The student had placed a pair of human chemical splash goggles on the dog. No questions were asked by the professor instructing the lab because of his uncertainty with the regulations. He assumed the dog had to be allowed in the lab. And, because this had never been an issue before last summer, the department didn't have a policy in place for service animals in the labs. (We do now.)
When I saw the dog in lab, and heard barking, I asked the student to meet with me after lab. Of course, I was suspicious of the situation. This animal didn't seemed to be as well trained as a service animal should be. When the student met with me, the dog was carrying the baby blanket in its mouth, the one that had been on the floor in lab! It became apparent to me that the animal was not a well-trained service animal. Instead of making a huge fuss at the time, I talked with the student about how an animal moving around in the lab put other students at risk, and I presented her with all the possible things that the dog could be exposed to in lab, assuming if she knew this, she'd take steps to protect the animal by either removing the dog or crating it in the lab. But that's not what happened. Her desire to have the animal with her was stronger than her ability to make good decisions. As I looked into things further, the animal was young and the student was in the process of training it - it was not under the complete control of the student/trainer. It could only sit in one location for about an hour or so (according to the student) then got antsy and "had to move around a few minutes". I deferred to our Student Support office, they met with the student, and determined that at best this was an emotional support animal. We agreed, for the good of the student, to keep the dog gated in a nearby safe zone, with direct line of sight with the student. I also pieced together a waiver, made it as strongly worded as I could, and had the student sign it. She didn't hesitate. Later that summer, at one point the dog wanted to get to the student badly enough that it jumped the gate and ran through the lab to get to the student. WOW!!! Moral of the story? Students who need emotional support animals in the first place may not be in a state of mind to make the best decisions for the animals. We must have policies in place before the situation presents itself.
OK, I have to give in. I had never heard of "service horses" prior to this post and was surprised by what I found upon looking. How can you, or do you accommodate in a lab?
What no peacocks?
On 2/6/2018 2:18 PM, Debbie M. Decker wrote:
I don't try to distinguish between emotional support animals and service animals. The only animals I have to accommodate are those which are described in the campus Policy and in California Law - dogs and small horses (if you want to see something so cute your head will explode, google "service horses"). Other critters are not permitted in the lab and I have the law on my side there. Thankfully, no one's asked!
Housing is a whole other story!
From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU] On Behalf Of Frankie Wood-Black
Sent: Tuesday, February 6, 2018 10:40 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Service Dogs in Laboratories
Strongly agree - but these are becoming more and more frequent and depending upon certain administrations, there may be need for some delicate and tactful ways of addressing. (We currently have a "rabbit" in our dorms, but were able to not have to deal with it in the science building by framing the initial questions. Thus, no angry student or parent or administrators to deal with, and no having to sight the specific regulations that say we don't have to deal with it.)
On Tue, Feb 6, 2018 at 8:05 AM, Patricia Redden <predden**At_Symbol_Here**saintpeters.edu> wrote:
Just as a note - "emotional support animals" do not have any access rights and so should not be allowed under any circumstances.
On Mon, Feb 5, 2018 at 1:01 PM, Frankie Wood-Black <fwoodblack90**At_Symbol_Here**gmail.com> wrote:
One thing to remember is that you have to be careful how you ask the questions. There have been some issues about how you have the discussion. We take the following approach, 1) ask what tasks the dog is trained for - i.e. is it a pick up dog or an alert type - this will help you establish safety measures that need to be considered. 2) You can also ask, how does the dog alert - this may bring up other potential hazards and mitigations, and finally, you can require the same level of protection for the dog as you do the human.
Having these discussions have eliminated some of the "emotional support" animals, because the student's don't want to address these questions.
We utilized the UC Davis guidelines as our starting point.
We, the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do everything with nothing. Teresa Arnold paraphrased from Konstantin Josef Jire=C4=8Dek (1854 - 1918)
Samuella B. Sigmann, MS, NRCC-CHO
Senior Lecturer/Safety Committee Chair/Director of Stockroom
A. R. Smith Department of Chemistry
Appalachian State University
Phone: 828 262 2755
Fax: 828 262 6558
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