Support- and Service-Animal Policy

DIS Copenhagen, Academic Seminar Night, Cities For People

Definitions of Language Used in this Policy

Pet: Any animal kept for ordinary use and companionship.

Service Animal: An animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the person’s disability. Under Danish law, a service animal includes guide dogs and service dogs specially trained to perform one or more utility function for a person with a permanent physical or mental disability or a blind or visually impaired person who is dependent on the animal. Under Swedish law, there is a distinction between a guide dog and service animal, which has a broader scope of assignments related to impairments, mental illness, seizure disorders, mobility impairments, diabetes, etc.

Support Animal: An animal that provides emotional or other support that ameliorates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability. Unlike service animals, support animals are not required to be trained for personal work or tasks. A support animal, under U.S. law, is those necessary to use and enjoy housing. There is no similar law in either Denmark or Sweden.

General Policy

DIS does not allow students to bring pets into DIS-arranged housing and encourages students who wish to live with an animal to choose the independent housing option. DIS students may not bring said animals to DIS sponsored events, administrative offices, classes, or study tours.

However, DIS endeavors to provide reasonable accommodations to students with a documented disability. DIS will require documentation from the student’s U.S. college or university verifying the student receives (or would be eligible to receive) the same accommodation on the campus. DIS may not be able to accommodate all requests for a given term based on capacity, so accommodation of a support or service animal is not guaranteed.

Established History with the Animal: As study abroad presents unique challenges, DIS requires not only that the student have a documented disability to bring a service or support animal into DIS-arranged housing but also that the student show they have a pre-existing relationship with the animal. DIS will not accept requests for animals where the student and animal have not worked and lived together for at least the previous semester.

Excluding or Removing Animals: DIS may exclude any animal from DIS housing or academic building if it poses a direct threat to the health and safety or others, would cause substantial physical damage to the property of others, would pose an undue financial and administrative burden, or results in a fundamental alteration of DIS programs. A service or support animal can be asked to leave or not allowed participation at DIS if, for example, the animal:

  • is found to be out of control or disruptive and the animal’s owner does not take immediate and effective action to control it
  • is not housebroken or kept in a cage where waste can be managed effectively
  • is found to be neglected or mistreated and prompt corrective action is not taken
  • is physically ill
  • is unreasonably dirty
  • attempts to enter a place at DIS where the presence of the animal is forbidden
  • causes danger to the safety of the owner or other students/member of DIS
  • attempts to enter any place at DIS where the animal’s safety is compromised

The removal of the animal will, in most cases, be immediate or within 24 hours and any interim costs for housing the animal will be at the student’s expense.

Any service or support animal who misbehaves or any owners (or others) who mistreat their service or support animals should be reported to DIS Housing and Student Affairs.

Conflicting Disabilities: People may have a disability that is affected by the presence of animals. In this case, DIS will consider the documented needs of both persons in meeting its efforts to reasonably accommodate disabilities and resolve any conflicts as efficiently and expeditiously as possible. Students requesting accommodations should provide timely documentation to DIS from their university or campus disability services office. Staff should contact the DIS department of Human Resources.

Emergency Response: The DIS Emergency Response Group, housing staff/management and DIS facilities staff will be notified of the presence of an animal approved under this policy at DIS. Every effort will be made to keep the animal with the student, however, in any emergency, the first effort will be in protecting human life and wellbeing; this may necessitate leaving the animal behind in certain situations.

Questions/Complaints Under this Policy

Service Animal Policy

Service animals will be permitted to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of DIS facilities and will be accommodated in DIS housing upon timely request and to the extent possible under existing DIS housing constraints and inventory. Though in the U.S. a service animal may be either a dog or a miniature horse, the latter is not recognized under Danish or Swedish law and therefore will not be accommodated in the Danish or Swedish context. Service dogs in training are not afforded the same rights under Danish or Swedish law as full-service dogs and students requesting attendance at DIS with a dog in training, will not be accommodated at DIS.

Responsibilities of the Student

  • Along with the disability accommodation request, submit documentation from their campus disability services office and a copy of the agreement from their campus housing, if living on campus with the animal.
  • If the accommodation request is approved, review and sign the DIS Service Animal Agreement.
  • Carry documentation that the animal is specially trained according to the Assistance Dogs International (ADI) standards. This includes a vest and/or harnass for the dog and a card for the owner.
  • Maintain responsibility for the cost, care and supervision of their animal including
    • Compliance with any laws and ordinances pertaining to animal import, licensing, vaccination and owner identification;
    • Keeping the animal under control and taking effective action when necessary; and
    • Feeding and walking the animal, and disposing of its waste.
  • Comply with the same DIS and housing rules including those regarding noise, safety, disruption, and cleanliness as people without disabilities.
  • Assure the animal stays outside of any restricted locations at DIS including those where health or safety restrictions (food preparation areas) or places where the animal might be in danger (facilities service rooms).
  • Not leave the support animal unattended for an unreasonable length of time.
  • Animal must leave DIS housing with the student, anytime the student leaves overnight and/or during University breaks.

Responsibilities of Members of the DIS Community

  • Follow basic etiquette around service animals and their owners:
    • Allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities at DIS.
    • Do NOT pet, touch or otherwise distract a service animal when it is working. Doing so may interfere with its ability to perform its duties.
    • Do NOT feed a service animal. Their work depends on a regular and consistent feeding regimen that the owner is responsible to maintain.
    • Do NOT attempt to separate the owner from the service animal.
    • Do NOT harass or deliberately startle a service animal.
    • Avoid initiating conversations about the student’s disability. Some people do not wish to discuss their disability.

Support-Animal Policy

Support animals are not allowed to accompany persons with disabilities at DIS, but a support animal may reside in DIS housing upon timely request and to the extent possible and reasonable under existing DIS housing constraints and inventory.

Responsibilities of the Student

  • Along with the disability accommodation request, submit documentation from their campus disability services office and a copy of the agreement from their campus housing, where they have lived with the animal for at least one term.
  • If the accommodation request is approved, review and sign the DIS Support Animal Agreement.
  • Follow all rules related to the restriction of animals from building at DIS other than their own residence.
  • Comply with the same DIS and housing rules including those regarding noise, safety, disruption, and cleanliness as people without disabilities.
  • Maintain responsibility for the cost, care, and supervision of their animal including
    • Compliance with any laws pertaining to animal import, licensing, vaccination and owner identification;
    • Keeping the animal under control and taking effective action when necessary; and
    • Feeding and walking the animal, and disposing of its waste.
  • Not leave the support animal unattended for an unreasonable length of time.
  • Animal must leave DIS housing with the student any time the student leaves overnight and/or during DIS term breaks.