The University of Rhode Island recognizes provisions under Rhode Island General Law § 40-9.1-2.1. that agency-owned puppies being raised and trained to become certified service dogs (also known as service animals) are given similar access to public facilities as fully trained and certified service dogs.
URI students who are members of the Puppy Raisers Club or who are officially designated puppy raisers for a service-dog training agency (such as Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Inc.), and who wish to bring an official service-puppy-in-training into URI Facilities are required to follow these procedures and policies:
Procedures for URI Students who are designated Puppy-Raisers for Service Dog Training Agencies:
- Contact the Dean of Students Office for an appointment with the Asst. Dean of Students for Accessibility and Inclusion; 401-874-2098 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Complete an application for permission to conduct puppy training at the University of Rhode Island.
- Provide complete information to document that you are an approved puppy raiser with the organization.
- Provide evidence from the service-dog-training agency that they carry liability insurance for your dog and are responsible for any injury/damage caused by the dog.
- Attach all agency and health records certifying that the puppy is a registered dog with the service-dog-training agency and is fully vaccinated according to RI Law. Also provide proof of a client-doctor relationship with a licensed practicing veterinarian in the state to provide routine and/or emergency care when needed.
- Complete a FERPA Permission form that allows URI to communicate as needed with the service-dog-training agency about your academic and social standing at URI or about other information related to your puppy.
- Sign the URI Animal Policies agreement certifying that you understand and agree to these policies.
- Complete a Class Workspace Permission form for EACH and EVERY environment (classroom, workspace, or housing/residential life facility) to which you wish to bring the puppy. (i.e. signed by Professor, supervisor, HRL Director etc.).
- Return a signed copy of each permission form to the Dean of Students Office.
- Contact the Assistant Dean of Students for Accessibility and Inclusion with any questions or concerns at 401-874-2098.
Policies Regarding Service-Dog Puppies being raised by URI students.
The following policies are pertinent to service-puppies-in-training being trained/raised on a URI Campus:
- URI is not responsible for the care or supervision of puppies being raised as service dogs.
- The animal’s owner or the puppy raiser are responsible for the cost, care, and supervision of service puppies, including:
- compliance with any laws pertaining to animal licensing, vaccination, and owner identification;
- keeping the animal under control and taking effective action when it is out of control;
- feeding, walking, and disposing of waste;
- waste disposal via university plumbing is prohibited in university residences, or other university buildings, but the Housing and Residential Life office or the Dean of Students can provide guidance on where to appropriately dispose of animal waste.
- URI will not require any surcharges or fees for service animals. However, the animal’s owner may be charged for damage caused by a service puppy-in-training to the same extent that URI would normally charge any person for the damage they cause to university property.
- Puppy raisers who are accompanied by service puppies or dogs must comply with all university rules regarding noise, safety, disruption, and cleanliness.
- In all cases, the owner of the animal (or the puppy raiser) is responsible for the animal’s behavior and is subject to disciplinary action via the URI Student Conduct process.
- In all cases, the owner of the animal will agree to hold harmless the University of Rhode Island for any damage or any injury to others caused by their service-puppy-in-training.
- If necessary, the removal of any service puppy including any necessary cleaning, repairs and/or pest control will be done at the expense of the student or student-resident of URI facilities.
- The student puppy raiser will be permitted to have no more than one animal due to the confined residential living or classroom spaces.
- Students must verify that the service dog’s medical and vaccination records are current. Please contact Disability Services for Students with this information.
- A service dog or service puppy must be housebroken (i.e., trained so that it controls its waste elimination, absent illness or accident)
- The service dog or service puppy must be kept under control by a harness, leash, or other tether at all times.
- At any time, a maximum of ONE puppy is permitted in any course session, residential room or work environment.
- If permission is granted by professor or supervisor, the puppy must be authorized by the agency as “ready” to accompany the puppy-raiser to class or work.
- Permission from professor, HRL administrator, or work supervisor with accompanying permission forms will be obtained in advance for each course or environment into which the puppy is being included and will be returned to the Dean of Students Office, 302 Memorial Union.
- Information about the puppy may be shared with authorized university officials, as needed, including the University of Rhode Island’s Attending Veterinarian.