Service and Emotional Support Animals

Service Animals are welcomed at Florida SouthWestern State College as are Emotional Support Animals in LightHouse Commons, our residential area at the Thomas Edison (Lee) Campus. In order to accommodate students, staff, and patrons of the College the following will be considered.

Definition of Terms

Service Animal Dogs, or sometimes a miniature horse, that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.

Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Comfort animals whose sole function is to provide a therapeutic comfort or emotional support for people with disabilities.

Pets A pet is any animal kept for ordinary use and companionship. Pets are generally prohibited on the College campuses.


The College does not require an individual with a Service Animal to register for access through the Office of ADAptive Services (OAS), although it is encouraged to do so. The student should also be able to respond to the following questions:

  1. Is the service animal required because of a disability?
  2. What work or tasks is the animal trained to perform?

All documentation submitted will be reviewed including the clean bill of health for the animal as required by Florida Statutes relating to Services Animals (Florida State Statute 413.08), and the student will receive the decision of the department in writing. A description of the dog including, breed, color, and possible weight will be requested.

For students seeking housing on campus, the information will be reviewed in conjunction with the staff of Housing and Residence Life. In regard to animals in the campus residence hall, the definition of an assistance or emotional support animal under the Fair Housing Act will be taken into account. A student requesting the use of an assistance or emotional support animal as an accommodation is required to register with the Office of ADAptive Services on the Thomas Edison (Lee) Campus and provide the appropriate documentation of disability. Information regarding documentation and the process can be found in the Florida SouthWestern State College Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Policy and Agreement.

For further information see College Operating Procedure 01-0105 (PDF) and please contact the Office of ADAptive Services or the Office of Residential Life and Housing.