Letter: Requirements for Emotional Support Animals

Letter to the Editor


This letter was sent to The Tartan by two Radford University Administrators and has been edited for grammar and style.  

Dear Tartan,

As members of the Student Affairs Leadership Team, we enjoy reading The Tartan and keeping in touch with RU students’ activities, thoughts and facts about what is happening on and off-campus. 

While enjoying the Oct. 2 issue, we read the article “Do Dogs Belong on Campus?” and we wanted to provide some additional information that pertains specifically to emotional support animals (ESAs) on campus.

ESAs are for individuals diagnosed with a disability under the American with Disabilities Act. ESAs are not limited to dogs. Students with ESAs living on campus have registered with the Center for Accessibility Services (CAS) and completed the approval process.

After a student receives approval from CAS for an ESA, they then meet with Housing and Residence Life to discuss responsibilities related to having an ESA on campus. It is after both of these meetings that the animal may come to campus. The online certification mentioned in the article will not suffice as meeting procedural approval to bring an ESA on campus.

In all cases with animals on campus, the animal must be personally supervised by the owner/handler, and the owner must maintain full control of the animal at all times while on university property. 

Thank you for the opportunity to educate your readers, and we look forward to enjoying future issues of The Tartan.


Andrea Sharpe-Robinson 

Director, Center for Accessibility Services  


Anthony White, Ph. D 

Director, Housing and Residential Life

Authors’ individual editorials do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Tartan staff members or Radford University.

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