Duke is committed to providing an open and accessible environment to all members of the Duke community. This includes welcoming service and assistance animals that are assisting individuals with disabilities in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other applicable state and federal law.

Service Animals

A service animal is a dog or miniature horse that has been trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The work or task(s) must be directly related to the person’s disability. An individual being assisted by a service animal is that animal’s handler.

Service animals must be under the handler’s control at all times. Service animals are subject to state and local licensing, registration, and vaccination requirements. The animal’s handler is responsible for complying with any current Durham and North Carolina requirements.

Pets and other animals are generally not allowed in work areas or residential environments at Duke unless approved in advance as a service or assistance animal by Duke Disability Management System.

In certain circumstances, service animals may be excluded from Duke facilities:

  • If admitting service animals would fundamentally alter the nature of a service or program, service animals may be prohibited from the area reserved for that service or program.
  • If a service animal behaves in a way that poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, if it has a history of such behavior, if it is not housebroken, or if it is not under the control of the handler, that service animal may be excluded from a Duke facility.

Assistance Animals

Assistance animals (sometimes called “emotional support animals”) are not service animals, and are usually restricted to student housing areas on campus. If you have additional questions regarding assistance animals (emotional support animals) please email sdao@duke.edu 


Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA. U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section. 06/08/2016.

Revised ADA Requirements: Service Animals. U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section. 06/08/2016.

For more information, please contact Christina Kline at christina.d.kline@duke.edu or Tony Galiani at tony.galiani@duke.edu.