Emotional Support Animal (ESA)

  • Emotional Support Animals are defined as animals that alleviate one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability. This animal provides the necessary support to an individual with a documented psychiatric disability and alleviates one or more identified symptoms of the individual’s disability. There must be an established relationship or nexus between the individual’s disability and the assistance the animal provides. It allows the student with a disability to receive full benefit or enjoyment of the residential facility on campus. Emotional Support Animals may not be brought into university housing without expressed approval from Accessibility Resources and Housing & Residential Life. The presence of an approved Emotional Support Animal is for university housing only and will not be permitted in other campus buildings (e.g. library, academic building, classrooms, labs, student union, etc.) It should be noted that animals needed to alleviate the psychological impact of disabilities may be referred to by different names such as companion animals, therapy animals, comfort animals, etc. At MSU Moorhead, we refer to these animals as Emotional Support Animals or ESAs.

    Steps for Requesting an Emotional Support Animals in University Housing

    1. If you are requesting this accommodation in University Housing as a:
      1. Current resident go directly to step 2.
      2. Incoming resident FIRST apply for special accommodations in your housing contract and then come back to do steps 2-7.
       
    2. The student must go to Apply for Services and complete steps 2 & 3.
    3. The student must complete the Request for an ESA and submit the request to Accessibility Resources.
    4. Student must submit the ESA Provider Verification Form to the medical or mental health professional treating the student for the psychiatric condition for which the Emotional Support Animal is requested. MSUM Counseling Services does not sign off on the ESA Provider Verification Forms. Please contact a community mental health provider to complete this form.
    5. Student must carefully review and complete the ESA Agreement form.
    6. After submission of all required ESA forms, the Director of Accessibility Resources will contact you about the approval or denial of your ESA request.

    If the ESA request is approved:

    1. The Director of Accessibility Resources will notify Housing & Residential Life of the decision regarding the ESA.
    2. Student will need to schedule an appointment with a representative from Housing & Residential Life to review and sign the ESA Agreement form.

    ESAs will not be permitted in University Housing until all of these steps have been completed.

    Requests for ONE ESA per student will be reviewed.