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Emotional Support Animal (ESA)

The University reserves the right to change ESA policies and procedures without notice. Students are asked to maintain appropriate social distancing for their ESAs, including asking others not to pet or hold the animal. Current evidence suggests that dogs and cats can become positive for COVID-19 or carry droplets in their fur from one person to another. While the risk to animals appears very low, we urge ESA owners to protect themselves, their animals, and their peers. Current advice from the CDC and American Veterinary Medical Association suggests that individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 limit contact with their pets (cats and dogs) and, whenever possible, have others provide their care. If an ESA owner (especially for dogs and cats) tests positive for COVID-19 and is quarantined (and plans to remain on campus), the University reserves the right to ask that the student make immediate arrangements for their contact person, as listed with DSS, to care of the animal off-campus.

The DSS website provides information for students regarding reasonable accommodations. For more information on documentation guidelines, service animals, or emotional support animals, please contact Disability Support Services at DSS@Southern.edu. Office hours are Monday-Thursday 8:00 AM-5:00 PM and Fridays between 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM. 

Click here to view the ESA request form, all other forms can be viewed by clicking here.