Animals on Campus

Moravian University is committed to complying with federal, state, and local laws regarding individuals with disabilities. In that regard, Moravian University will support those students with disabilities who require the assistance of an emotional support or service animal.  


  • Emotional Support Animal (ESA):  An ESA is an animal that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability. ESAs are distinct from service animals. 
  • Service Animals:  A service animal must have the training to perform specific tasks for the qualified individual, and the individual must have a disability as defined by the ADA.

Comparison of ESAs and Service Animals:

Below is a table that shows the differences between emotional support animals and service animals.

Emotional Support Animals (ESA) Service Animals
Must serve a specific function for the student. They have the training to perform a specific task.
You can ask any question of the owner.

Individuals can only ask two questions:

  1. Is the animal a service animal?
  2. What is it trained to do?
They are only allowed in the student’s room. They are allowed to go everywhere that animals are permitted.  See "Areas Off-Limits to Service Animals" for more information.  
The animal is left alone while its owner is in class, eating, or participating in activities.   They are allowed to go everywhere.
It can be a pet. It isn't a pet.  It is an extension of the handler.
It can interact with others at the discretion of the owner. Must ask the handler for permission to touch the animal.
Must have appropriate documentation. It does not need medical documentation for campus approval.  However, the Office of Disability and Accommodation Services encourages registration with the office to better assist the student.

Emotional Support Animal - Request Process and Required Documentation:

Due to the high volume of activity in the Office of Disability and Accommodations during the first few weeks of a new semester, students who submit their documentation materials during that period may experience a delay in having their materials reviewed and accommodations implemented.   

  1. Complete and submit the Intake Form.
  2. Provide the necessary supporting documentation from a qualified medical or mental health provider. 
  3. Meet with the Office of Disability and Accommodations (in-person or virtually). The Office of Disability and Accommodations will discuss the reviewed documentation, additional documentation if needed, and suggested accommodations for the college setting through the interactive process.

The Office of Disability and Accommodations review committee will decide the eligibility for the accommodation of having an ESA.  The office reviews requests on a case-by-case basis.  Prior approval of an animal at a previous institution does not guarantee approval at Moravian.  The office will approve a request for an ESA when there is clear evidence that the ESA will improve the student's educational access. Certain types of animals may not be permitted on campus as an approved ESA because of the risk they may pose to campus community members.

A review committee comprised of staff from the Residential Life and Housing will consider the impact of the animal's presence in the residential community, if necessary.

Process After Being Approved for an ESA:

Once approved to have an ESA on campus, the Office of Disability and Accommodations will email and the student.  The Residential Life and Housing staff may need additional time to inform roommate(s), floormates, or suitemates of the presence of an ESA and make necessary housing changes that are required based on the ESA. 

To change to a different ESA than the one approved, the student must submit a supplemental request for review with additional information from the medical care provider that verifies the disability-related need for a different animal.

Residential Policies