Confusion may occur when families inquire about having animals on campus. This article from the ADA outlines an explanation of service vs. support animals, responsibilities of handlers, where they are allowed and under what conditions.

In this legal advisory written by Debra Wilson for NAIS, she notes the difference between the two types of animals, “Schools must bear in mind that service and emotional support / therapy animals are two different classes of animals that help their humans. By law, service animals are almost always dogs, although they can also be miniature horses.” She continues to explain the guidelines for service animas, “Service animals hold a special designation within the law and receive wide access to most places. Places of public accommodations, such as independent schools, must generally accept service animals at almost all times and with very little question or regulation.” Other animals not designated as a service animal may be referred to as as assistance animal, therapy animal, or the most common, emotional support animal (ESA). Schools have the ability to ask more clarifying questions and place more restrictions

Additional explanation and guidelines can be found in this document from the Department of Justice. This article from The Seeing Eye specifically addresses legal rights and responsibilities of service dog handlers in educational institutions.