Emotional Support Animals

Sweet Briar College (“SBC” or the “College”) provides reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities who have a verifiable need for reasonable accommodation. A reasonable accommodation is an exception to the usual rules, policies, practices or services that a resident with a disability may need to have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy College housing.

The Fair Housing Act defines disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Under this definition, an impairment is a disability if it substantially limits the ability of the person to perform a major life activity as compared to the average person in the general population. The definition also takes into account any mitigating measures — such as medication or other treatment or therapies — the person is employing that may relieve the substantial limitations caused by the impairment. If the mitigating measure(s) eliminates the substantial limitations caused by the impairment, the person does not have a disability.

An emotional support animal (ESA) provides emotional support to a person with a mental health disability who has a disability-related need for such support. To apply for an ESA, students must complete this form and have their treating medical professional submit a supplemental verification form. Once both are received, they will be reviewed by the residence life coordinator and the assistant dean of student life.

A student’s approval for an emotional support animal is separate from considerations for any particular animal. Once approved for an ESA, students must submit veterinary records and/or other requested materials for the specific animal they wish to bring to campus. The appropriateness of this animal for residential living will then be evaluated by the residence life coordinator.

Dogs and cats must be fully housebroken and vaccinated for rabies. Sweet Briar College strongly encourages students to follow all other vaccination recommendations for responsible animal ownership. Animals that are too young to receive vaccinations or be appropriately housebroken will not be permitted.

Animals should not be brought to campus prior to approval.

If you have questions about ESAs, contact Max Cirillo, Residence Life Coordinator.