Service Dog Policy

Please note: This policy provides for service animals only, not therapy or emotional-support animals.

Important: Passing off a pet, therapy dog, or emotional support animal as a service dog can lead to a federal-level felony fraud charge. For more information on service animals, emotional support animals, and therapy animals, please contact the Student Service Specialist, at 303-751-8700 x206, or at their office in the Media Center.


“If you have a service dog, please meet with Bel-Rea’s Student Affairs Director to discuss need and legal limitations/best practices in a medical setting before brining your dog to classes or labs.After the meeting, your instructors will be notified of an appropriate service dog.

  • Appropriate service dogs accompanying individuals with disabilities are welcome, but please note that Bel-Rea is a high exposure site, as shelter animals are consistently on campus. Any sick, unvaccinated, recently vaccinated, or immune-compromised animals may be at risk.
  • There are some circumstances where infection-control measures will require the exclusion of your service dog.These situations will be reviewed in the meeting and are listed in Bel-Rea’s Service Dog Policy.”

Per the Americans with Disabilities Act regulations and Centers for Disease Control recommendations, service dogs are permitted in areas where added precautions are not required of healthcare personnel, but it is appropriate to exclude service dogs “from limited-access areas that employ general infection-control measures”.

The limitation is based on the concern of airborne germs affecting a sterile environment (i.e. operating room) or having a potential impact on disease control or infection management (i.e. burns or open wounds).

Typical areas of exclusion for veterinary technician training or employment:

  • Sterile environments or surgical rooms.
  • Triage situations or isolation areas where a disease control or an infection concern is present.

Areas of exclusion:

  • At Bel-Rea – Surgery, Dentals, and Pre-Clinical Garage/Surgery Prep.
  • At internship/off-site experiences – Surgery, Dentals, Isolation, Triage, ICU, and other possible areas.

Due to potential exposure risks inherent in veterinary technology training, we ask that individuals with service dogs consider “best practices” to protect their animal from harm in high risk situations that the law does not automatically exclude service dogs from.

Typical areas of high risk concern during veterinary technician training and internship:

  • Radiology labs – due to exposure risks.
  • Other labs with potential exposure risks.
  • Large animal interactions – due to potential injury risks.
  • While cleaning, chemical, chemotherapy, or other potential exposure risk substances are in use.
  • Interactions with animals that are ill, have unknown health histories, or potential infectious diseases.
  • Would the presence of my service dog require a fundamental alteration to any medically necessary safety standards that are in place for patient or staff safety?
  • Is there an exposure risk that my service dog’s vaccinations will not provide protection for (i.e. chemicals, pathogens, radiation, disease, infection, etc.)?
  • Are there patients that could be unintentionally harmed by the presence of my service dog (i.e. patients that are immunosuppressed, my dog is ill, patients that are fearful of dogs, etc.)?
  • Is there a risk of harm from other animals in the environment that may become defensive or aggressive towards my service dog?
  • Is there a space limitation that will inhibit myself or those around me from performing duties or moving around safely if my service dog is present?(i.e. multi-station practical exams with frequent rotations)
  • Will my service dog be stressed in a clinical setting with the unfamiliar medical equipment, wires/cords, alerts, or patient pain reactions?
  • Will my service dog exhibit protective but inappropriate behavior if I become highly stressed in an urgent or demanding training situation?
  • Are there additional areas of training that my service dog would benefit from before I take him or her to labs, exams, practical training situations, internship, or employment in a medical field?
  • Will I be able to appropriately care for my service dog throughout my scheduled time, including food/water, cleaning up, walking, etc.?

Federal law requires that a service dog handler be in direct control of their animal and specifies that employees or other individuals cannot be expected to take care of a service dog when the handler cannot be with them. Because of these limitations, it is essential that you find an appropriate and safe area for your dog to stay in if you cannot have him or her with you at all times.

Proper Restraint:

Your service dog must be under your control at all times during your training. Animals must be on a leash, harness, or tether, except when in carriers or kennels.

  • Exception: If there is a situation where a leash, harness, or tether would interfere with your lab, class, exam, or internship duties, then the animal can sit or lie quietly in an appropriate spot in the room but must still be under your control via voice commands or visual signs.

Allowing your service dog to roam loose in a classroom, lab, exam, or other training setting is never appropriate.If your service dog is disruptive, you will be asked to take him or her out of the room immediately (e.g. take them home).

Please note that labeling your service dog (e.g. vest, patches, etc.) is not required by law, but is recommended at Bel-Rea, as it will reduce the amount of questions as to why you are allowed to bring your dog to campus consistently. You are welcome to provide documentation of your dog’s training but are not required to do so.


  • While you are on campus, you are welcome to kennel your service dog in the downstairs kennels during times he/she cannot be with you.Please follow regular kenneling protocols for that room.
  • Kenneling your dog in the upstairs dog kennels or Pre-Clinical Surgical Prep area is not allowed.
  • Please note that if your service dog is disruptive or overly stressed when kenneled, you will be asked to find a solution other than kenneling immediately (i.e. take them home).

– CM, 9/2017

Campus Alerts:

There are no alerts at this time

Need resources or have questions about campus security? Contact Stasi Bottinelli (Financial Aid Manager/ Title IX Coordinator) at or (303) 751-8700.