Note: Students who bring animals into student housing prior to approval by Caltech may be subject to a fine, removal of the animal, and/or other penalties. Please read the sections below for more details.
The person who requires the assistance of a service animal is responsible for
keeping the animal harnessed, leashed, or tethered at all times, unless these
devices interfere with the animal's work, or the person's disability prevents
using these devices, in which case the person must maintain control of the
animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.
A student wishing to live with a service animal in Institute housing must inform CASS in a timely manner, so that appropriate arrangements can be made, and so that the expectations for the appropriate care and behavior of the animal living on campus may be discussed. CASS will not ask about the nature or extent of a student's disability, but when it is not readily apparent, CASS may ask the student if the animal is required because of a disability and what work or task they have been trained to perform. Caltech does not require documentation for service animals, such as proof that the dog has been certified, trained, or licensed as a Service Animal.
Students who are approved to have a service animal in Caltech housing will be required to sign a Service Animal Agreement. Caltech may require removal of an approved service animal if there is any violation of any of the terms and conditions of the Service Animal Agreement. Residential Life staff will make a reasonable effort to notify the other residents in the housing unit where the service animal will be located. This notice will be limited to information about the animal's presence as an accommodation to a student with a disability; there will be no disclosure of the student's disability.
Please be aware that the City of Pasadena requires proof of rabies vaccination as part of the mandatory city registration process for all dogs. Dogs living in Pasadena, unless medically exempt, must also be neutered or spayed. Please plan to have this documentation available to provide to the housing office.
DefinitionAn "emotional support animal" (ESA) is an animal that alleviates one or more symptoms or effects of a person's disability, and is necessary to afford the person an equal opportunity to use and enjoy Caltech housing. An ESA may be necessary to provide physical assistance, emotional support, calming, stability, and other kinds of assistance. Caltech permits students with disabilities to have an ESA reside with them in Caltech housing, consistent with federal and state law.
Caltech may require removal of an approved emotional support animal if there is any violation of any of the terms and conditions of the ESA Agreement, which students must complete as part of the approval process. Residential Life staff will make a reasonable effort to notify the other residents in the housing unit where the ESA will be located. This notice will be limited to information about the animal's presence as an accommodation to a student with a disability; there will be no disclosure of the student's disability.
Other resident students with medical condition(s) who are directly and negatively impacted by animals (e.g., respiratory diseases, asthma, severe allergies) are asked to contact CASS if they have a health or safety related concern about exposure to an ESA. Such affected students may be eligible for a disability accommodation when living in proximity to an ESA.
CASS, Residential Life, and Caltech Housing staff will collaborate, as necessary, to resolve conflicts related to an ESA. Staff members will consider the needs and/or accommodations of all resident students involved. If the student's ESA causes damage to the student's unit or the common areas of the housing facility, the student will be charged for the cost of repairing the damages and may be asked by Caltech Housing to remove the animal if the animal's behavior continues.
Students who are approved for an ESA and want to keep their ESA in student housing the following school year must
contact CASS to renew their request for each academic year. A request for a returning ESA
should be submitted at the same time housing selection begins for Caltech
Housing each April in order to guarantee consideration.
student who brings an animal into Caltech Housing prior to the
completion of the full approval process will be subject to a $350 fine;
will have two weeks to remove the animal; and may lose
their housing privileges, per Caltech Housing's Pet Policy.
CASS will determine, on a case-by-case basis, and in collaboration with other appropriate offices on campus, whether to approve the student's request for an ESA. In making this determination, CASS will consider the needs of the student; the impact of the animal on other members of the housing facility and Caltech community; and whether the available and/or assigned space is appropriate for the animal. The student may be required to move to alternate Caltech housing, depending upon housing location, in order to best accommodate them and/or the animal.
A request for an assistance animal may be denied as unreasonable if the presence of the animal:
- Imposes an undue financial and/or administrative burden
- Fundamentally alters Caltech's housing program
- Poses a direct threat to the health and safety of the student or others; or
- Would cause
substantial property damage to property.
The decision of the CASS will be provided to the student in writing. Denials
may be appealed under the disability grievance procedure. If the request for an ESA is approved, the student will be required to sign an Emotional Support Animal Agreement. Once approved, students should visit the Caltech Housing ESA page for additional instructions.
Please note that an ESA approval does not guarantee on-campus housing.