Emotional Support Assistance Animals are animals often used as part of a medical treatment plan, they are NOT considered service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act. These support animals differ from service animals in that they MUST BE approved and registered through the office of Disability Services (for students) and/or Equal Opportunity and Outreach (for faculty and staff).

The University of Massachusetts Lowell is committed to assuring equal access for disabled students, staff and faculty, as well as guests and visitors to the campus. It is the university’s policy to permit emotional support/assistance animals on a case by case basis, to reside in the residence hall with a student with a documented disability as a reasonable accommodation. 
The university only allows the use of emotional support/assistance animals in the residence halls and relief areas. Exceptions to restricted areas may be explored with the Office of Disability Services and Equal Opportunity and Outreach
Dangerous, poisonous, and/or illegal animal are not permitted.
Animals that are capable of carrying zoonotic diseases are not permitted on campus.


Care of Support Animals

Individuals with disabilities who use emotional support/assistance animals are responsible for:
  • attending to the wellbeing and cleanliness of their animal, 
  • maintaining control of their animal at all times and not disrupt others (otherwise animal may be removed), 
  • have a plan in place for animal care in case of emergency  
  • arrange alternative shelter if the animal must be removed from campus due to disruptive, unsafe, or environmental conditions, or if the handler becomes unable to care for the service animal
  • ensuring the cleanup of the animal's waste and, when appropriate, must use relief areas designated by the university consistent with the reasonable capacity of the owner. Indoor animal waste, such as cat litter, must be placed in a study plastic bag and securely tied up before being disposed of in outside trash dumpsters. Litter boxes should be placed on mats so that waste is not tracked onto carpeted surfaces.
Relief areas may be designated on an individual basis in collaboration with the Office of Residence Life and university grounds personnel.
University staff is not required to provide food or care for service animals.

Removal of Approved Animals

The university may exclude/remove an approved animal when: 
  • the animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, or 
  • the animal’s presence results in a fundamental alteration of the university’s program, or 
  • the owner does not comply with owner’s responsibilities in university housing, or
  • the animal or its presence creates an unmanageable disturbance or interference with the university community.


Students may appeal the university’s decision regarding service or support animals to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Outreach. In all cases, a detailed, written appeal must be submitted within five (5) class days after written notification of the decision. The student must write an appeal letter that specifically addresses the reason for the appeal. The written appeal will be reviewed and the student will be notified in writing on the status of the case.