Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience: Office of Student Life

Guidance for Service and Assistance Animals in Residence at The Ohio State University

August 7, 2020

While dogs and cats are known to contract a variant of Coronavirus, the risk of transmission from animals is not fully understood. The university’s policies on Services and Assistance Animals, including Emotional Support Animals and animals-in-training, remain in place.

You must update the emergency contact information you provided for your animal with University Housing to Alyssa Maldonado ( The contact must be able to pick up your animal within one day if you are unable to care for it.

We recommend that you maintain 2-3 weeks of food in your room since the supply chain may be disrupted or you may need to self-isolate or quarantine.

Service and Assistance animals need to be included in social distancing. When you are in the presence of others with your animal, even if it is off duty, do not allow petting or other close interactions with others. You must maintain six feet of distance whenever possible.

If you are required to isolate or quarantine on campus and cannot leave your room to toilette or otherwise properly care your animal you will need to either make appropriate arrangements for someone to care for your animal or will have to send your animal elsewhere for the duration of your isolation. Advanced planning is encouraged as the university’s staff cannot care for your animal.

  • University employees will not provide more than one day of care for your animal. Any individual or service agency you arrange to care for your animal must agree to abide by the public safety measures implemented by the university for both the campus in general and the specific requirements of the building where you are residing during the required isolation. These includes:
    • Participating in health screening and contact tracing;
    • Minimizing contact between yourself and the care provider;
    • Properly wearing the required personal protective equipment (PPE) which may include: 
      • Gloves
      • N95 or similar mask
      • The use of protective clothing, such as gowns or coveralls that can be laundered, and dedicated footwear is an alternative that may be preferable to preserve disposable PPE.
    • Animals should be kept on a lead no more than six feet in length for elimination and exercise;
    • Direct contact with other animals or persons should be avoided;
    • Feces should be collected using gloved hands or a bag and disposed of immediately in the building’s main (not room or floor) trash receptacles.

If you have any questions please contact the ADA Coordinator’s Office at (614) 292-6209.

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