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Guidelines and Requirements for Maintaining an

Emotional Support Animal in Johns Hopkins University Housing


Effective August 1, 2023

The following requirements apply to all students with a disability who are approved to bring an emotional support animal into University housing. Please read the following JHU policy about service animals and become familiar with the expectations:

  1. Students who wish to have an emotional support animal reside with them in Johns Hopkins University Housing must register with Student Disability Services (SDS). Incoming freshmen and other new students should register prior to the deadline established for submitting housing-related accommodation requests, generally by Mid-June.
  2. The student is required to provide current documentation to SDS of the student’s disability. The documentation must describe why the animal is necessary to afford the student an equal opportunity to use and enjoy the dwelling, including showing an identifiable relationship between the disability and the assistance the animal provides.
  3. Assistance animals include therapy/comfort/emotional support animals, and may include animals other than dogs. The University may consider the following factors among others in determining whether the presence of an animal is reasonable or in the making of housing assignments for students with emotional support animals whether: (a)the animal is prohibited by the Baltimore City Health Department ; (b) the size of the animal is too large for available assigned housing space; (c) the animal’s presence would force another individual from individual housing (e.g. serious allergies); (d) the animal’s presence otherwise violates individuals’ right to peace and quiet enjoyment; (e) the animal is not housebroken or is unable to live with others in a reasonable manner; (f)  the owner has not abided by current city, county, and state ordinances, laws, and/or regulations pertaining to licensing, vaccination, and other requirements for animals.; (g) the animal poses or has posed in the past a direct threat to the individual or others such as aggressive behavior towards or injuring the individual or others; (h) the animal causes or has caused excessive damage to housing beyond reasonable wear and tear; (i) the animal is not housebroken; (j) the animal is found to be neglected or mistreated and prompt corrective action is not taken; (k) the animal is physically ill; (l) the animal is unreasonably dirty; or (m) the owner does not ensure appropriate cleanup of the animal’s waste.  Hopkins may place other reasonable conditions or restrictions on the animals depending on the nature and characteristics of the animal.
  4. After receiving notification from SDS that the animal has been approved, Johns Hopkins Housing staff will notify the potential roommates and/or suitemates of the student with a disability of the animal’s presence. In making such notification, Housing staff will not disclose information related to the student’s disability, other than the need to have the animal in the living space. The purpose of such disclosure is to confirm that the student’s roommates and/or suitemates do not have a conflicting disability, allergy or other condition that may prevent them from living with an animal.  If a roommate or suitemate is unable to live with an animal, Housing staff will work to provide a suitable living arrangement for each student.
  5. After receiving approval to have an emotional support animal in student housing, the student must provide the following documentation to Housing:

(a) Documentation that the animal meets all vaccination requirements as mandated by the Baltimore City Health Department.

(b) Documentation from a licensed veterinarian that the animal is in good health.

(c) Documentation that the animal has met the Baltimore City licensing requirements. Information on licensing requirements is available at

Documentation must be provided prior to the student bringing the animal into the residence hall. The three documents outlined above should be updated with the Housing Office on a yearly basis. Students who plan to reside in university housing the following year should present updated documentation to the Housing Office during the housing selection process in the Spring semester.

  1. The student must also provide contact information for an alternative caregiver for the animal in case of an emergency.
  2. If the animal needs to be replaced, the student is responsible for notifying the Housing Office and providing the above information for the new animal.
  3. Where the approved animal may go within the student’s residence hall is based on the type of animal and the needs of the student with a disability. Emotional support animals are restricted to the student’s individual bedroom and to designated outside areas for waste elimination.
  4. An emotional support animal in university housing must be under the full control of its handler at all times. The animal shall have a harness, leash or other tether.
  5. Students are required to crate emotional support animals if the student is not in the room with the animal. If a student leaves campus overnight, the student must take the emotional support animal with them. Emotional support animals may not be left in the care of a roommate or another student on campus overnight.
  6. The student is responsible for ensuring that the animal remains in good health while residing in Johns Hopkins housing, and for ensuring that the animal is properly groomed. Students may not use Residence Hall suite/apartment showers to clean their animals. Students are required to keep their animals clean and such bathing and grooming activity shall occur off campus. Students shall maintain the animals so that other individuals are not unreasonably exposed to odors from the animals. Students approved to have an emotional support animal in housing should apply flea and tick prevention products to the animal on a regular basis.
  7. The animal must be housebroken (i.e., trained so that it controls its waste elimination, absent illness or accident). The student is responsible for ensuring appropriate cleanup of the animal’s waste. After a student receives approval to bring an emotional support animal into Johns Hopkins housing, Housing Office staff will tell the student where the designated relief areas for the animal are located, if applicable. Waste must be bagged and discarded in receptacles designated by the Housing Office. Students who maintain assistance animals should dispose of used cat or other litter in a sealed bag in an outside trash dumpster. Crates and litter boxes must be placed on mats to minimize contamination of carpeted and other surfaces.
  8. The student is financially responsible for any damage caused by the animal to Johns Hopkins housing, including, but not limited to, damage to carpets, furniture or walls beyond reasonable wear and tear to the same extent that other individuals are responsible beyond reasonable wear and tear. If fleas, ticks or other pets are detected in the student’s residence, it will be treated by a university-approved pest control service. The student will be billed for the expense of any damage and/or pest treatment. Replacement or repair of damaged items will be the financial responsibility of the owner.
  9. The student is liable for any damages caused by the actions of the animal (bites, scratches, etc.), waives any claim against Johns Hopkins University and agrees to indemnify Johns Hopkins and its employees, officers and agents in any claim or suit arising from the harm caused by the animal. Damages and extraordinary cleaning caused by the animal are the responsibility of the owner.
  10. Johns Hopkins University reserves the right to have an emotional support animal removed from the residence hall and/or campus if the above requirements are not adhered to or if the animal poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others. Restrictions or exclusions will be considered on a case-by-case basis in accordance with applicable laws.

In addition, animals that repeatedly disrupt others (e.g., barking excessively, growling, howling, etc.) may be required to be removed from the residence hall and/or campus. A written action plan must be submitted by the owner outlining the action that will take place to alleviate the problems and providing the length of time the plan will take. Any action plan must meet the approval of the Director of Housing.

  1. Students who believe their service or assistance animal has been improperly excluded may contact the Director of Student Disability Services in SDS at 410-516-4720 to discuss their concerns.
  2. Should the emotional support animal be excluded from the residence hall, the student is expected to fulfill their housing obligations for the remainder of the housing contract.
  3. The animal is allowed in university housing only as long as it is necessary because of the owner’s disability. The owner must notify the Student Disability Services Office in writing if the emotional support animal is no longer needed or is no longer in residence.
  4. Johns Hopkins University will not retaliate against any individual because that individual has requested or received a reasonable accommodation in university housing.
  5. The University reserves the right to modify, rescind or otherwise alter these Guidelines at any time and will give notice of any such changes.


By my signature below, I verify that I have read, understand and will abide by the requirements outlined above.



_____________________________________                                              ______________________

Resident Signature                                                                                         Date




______________________________________                                            ______________________

Director of Housing or Designee                                                                   Date




By my signature below, I agree to share the common areas of my assigned residential space with the emotional support animal approved by this agreement.  Should I have any concerns regarding the care and control of the approved emotional support animal, I will discuss my concerns with my roommate approved to maintain the animal in housing.  If my roommate and I cannot come to an agreement, I will discuss my concerns with Housing Life staff.

I am aware that the service or assistance animal is working with its student partner, and I will observe the following etiquette:

  • I will avoid touching the emotional support animal without permission.
  • I will not feed the emotional support animal as it may disrupt its schedule.
  • I will not attempt to separate the emotional support animal from its owner.
  • I will refrain from asking the student owner about their disability or support the animal provides. If the student owner shares medical or disability-related information, I will treat the information as confidential, and share it only on a need-to-know basis (i.e. if professional attention or intervention is warranted).


__________________________________________                        _____________________

Roommate Signature                                                                                                 Date


__________________________________________                        _____________________

Roommate Signature                                                                                                 Date


__________________________________________                        _____________________

Roommate Signature                                                                                                 Date


__________________________________________                        _____________________

Roommate Signature                                                                                                 Date



By my signature below, I acknowledge that my roommate has indicated that I may assist in the care of the animal should my roommate be temporarily unable to do so. I agree to care for the animal in limited, emergency situations.  Should I have any concerns regarding the care and control of the approved emotional support animal, I will discuss my concerns with my roommate. If my roommate and I cannot come to an agreement, I will discuss my concerns with Housing staff immediately.


  1. __________________________________________ _____________________

Personal Assistant Signature                                                                              Date


  1. __________________________________________ _____________________

Personal Assistant Signature                                                                              Date


  1. __________________________________________ _____________________

Personal Assistant Signature                                                                              Date


  1. __________________________________________ _____________________

Personal Assistant Signature                                                                              Date




Please complete the following information:


Veterinarian’s Name and/or Clinic Name _________________________________________________________________


Address ____________________________________________________________________________________________


City State Zip _______________________________________________________________________________________


Phone Number and Fax _______________________________________________________________________________


Emotional support animal information:


Owner’s Name: ______________________________________________________________________________________


Animal’s name, type and breed:




Sex__________________ Spayed/Neutered ___________________________________________________________


Please check all that apply:


  • Canine Vaccinations


o DHLPP + C (Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza, Corona)


o Bordatella


o Rabies


  • Feline Vaccinations


o FVRCP (Panleukopenia, Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Chlamydia)


o FeLV (Feline Leukemia)


o Bordatella


o Rabies


I verify the above-mentioned animal has all current vaccinations as required.

I verify that all the above vaccinations will remain current through one year.

I verify that the above-mentioned animal has been given a stool sample test for internal parasites.

I verify that the above animal is in general good health.


Veterinarian Signature ________________________________________Date____________________________________


License number ______________________________________________________________________________________





Please complete this form and submit it to the Housing Office a minimum of 60 days prior to the start of the semester in which the emotional support animal will arrive to campus. Requests made beyond this deadline will be considered but may be harder to accommodate. Complete a new form as any changes in the information about your animal occur.

Provide the following documentation with this form:

  • Copy of Baltimore City Animal License (if applicable)
  • Veterinary Verification Form
Student’s Name
Student’s Permanent Address
Student’s Home Phone
Student’s Campus Address  


Student’s Campus ID, Phone, and email address  



Student’s Cell Phone
Date of Approval by Disability Services to bring animal into University housing.  


Animal’s Name
Baltimore City License Information (if applicable)
Type of Animal and Breed  


Description of the Animal (May attach photo if one is available)






Is the emotional support animal current on veterinary –recommended vaccinations? Circle one:  Yes/No   If no, explain.

Please make sure to complete Veterinary Verification Form

Has the emotional support animal ever bitten or shown aggression toward people?
Alternate/Emergency Caregiver for Animal if Student/Owner is Unavailable

Emergency Caregiver:  The student must provide contact information for an alternate caregiver for the animal in case of an emergency. This contact person must be able to arrive on campus within a one-hour window of being contacted and be able to remove the Emotional Support Animal from campus.

If the student is unable to identify an alternative caregiver meeting those criteria, or if the identified caregiver is unreachable or unavailable, then, in the event of an emergency, the Emotional Support Animal will be transported to and boarded at the Falls Road Animal Hospital. The student will be responsible for all applicable costs for these services and for the care of the ESA during boarding.


Phone Number
Relationship to Student