An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is an animal that provides comfort to a person with a disability upon the recommendation of mental health professional. The comfort from an Emotional Support Animal serves to alleviate one or more identified symptoms or effects of a resident’s documented disability. Unlike a Service Animal, an Emotional Support Animal does not assist a resident with a disability with activities of daily living, nor does it accompany the resident at all times.
Students living in residence at Acadia who would benefit from an ESA can complete an ESA application with Accessible Learning Services. All requests for accommodation should be made as early as possible. Students requesting to have an ESA in campus housing should submit their request and supporting documentation to Accessible Learning Services at least four (4) weeks before the anticipated move-in date of their ESA. This allows enough time to review the request and provide students notice of the decision made on their application. While applications may receive a decision well in advance of the deadline, Acadia University cannot guarantee approved ESAs would be able move in prior to their anticipated move-in date.
To begin the application process, students may contact Accessible Learning Services at firstname.lastname@example.org. They will then be provided with a summary of the application process and application package. In order to be considered for approval, there must be a demonstrated link between the animal and documented disability as defined by An Act Respecting Accessibility in Nova Scotia (Section 1a).
The animal must be non-venomous and housed in a species appropriate enclosure. Additional restrictions regarding the type of animal permitted under this policy may be added at the discretion of the University. In addition, the animal’s standard habitat and care requirements will taken into consideration. Alterations to the animal’s recommended or standard environment cannot be factored into the decision-making process.
Please note that Animals which require the following cannot to be considered:
i. Heating elements of any kind;
ii. Large fish tanks;
iii. Live feeders (including insects)
For additional information on the policies and procedures regarding ESAs please see the Emotional Support Animal Policies and Procedures document.