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.

Please note: Dogs must be at least 10 months of age and cats must be at least 6 months of age.

MSUM’s Service Dogs & ESAs Policy

Steps for Requesting an Emotional Support Animals in University Housing

  1. Request accommodation by completing the Request for Accommodations Form.
  2. Provide acceptable documentation of your disability and need for an emotional support animal (ESA) according to the Documentation Guidelines.
  3. After documentation is received, 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.