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Support Animals in Stanford Student Housing

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Procedure to Request an Exception to the No-Pet Policy in Stanford Student Housing 


Emotional Support Animals (also known as Comfort Animals or ESA's) are often used as part of a medical treatment plan. These support animals provide companionship, relieve loneliness, and sometimes help with depression, anxiety, and certain phobias, but do not have special training to perform specific tasks for people with disabilities. Support animals are not considered service animals under the ADA. Support animals are approved as a residential accommodation only, in adherence with the federal Fair Housing Act and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. 

Students considering this accommodation should review Service Animals and Support Animals in Stanford R&DE Student Housing to familiarize themselves with definitions, designations, policies, and rules pertaining to animal-related access and accommodations. 

Section III. D (Where is a Support Animal Permitted and Not Permitted?) lists residences designated as allergy sensitive/animal restricted, and those where support animals will be allowed within the 8 undergraduate housing neighborhoods.

Students requesting a support animal accommodation as an exception to the no-pet policy in Stanford student housing must follow these steps before they bring their animal to campus:

1.   Initiate your request

Register with the OAE by submitting an intake form on OAE | CONNECT. In order to consider a request for an exception to Stanford’s residential “no pets” policy and to permit a support animal as a reasonable accommodation, the university requires documentation from a qualified medical or mental health professional. Documentation should substantiate the requestor’s status as a person with a disability and describes why the presence of an animal is necessary in order to equally access/fully enjoy their residence. Any requests for multiple animals must include information about the distinct and separate assistance provided by the presence of each animal in relation to the mitigation of the resident’s disability.

Documentation may be submitted in any of the following ways: 

  • Upload: when you submit your registration form at OAE | CONNECT 
  • Email:
  • Fax: 650 - 725 - 5301
  • Postal Mail: Office of Accessible Education, 563 Salvatierra Walk, Stanford, CA 94305
  • Drop Off: Monday - Friday, 9AM - 5PM

2. Intake appointment with a Disability Adviser

Upon receipt of your intake form and documentation, you will be assigned a Disability Adviser to review your case and conduct an individualized assessment. Following the evaluation of your request and supporting documentation, your Disability Adviser may require a meeting to discuss your needs and the assignment of appropriate housing for you and your support animal.

3. Assignment of appropriate housing

The OAE will notify Housing Assignment Services and Housing Facilities of your approval for a support animal.  Housing Assignment Services and Housing Facilities will either identify an appropriate housing placement based on availability or proceed with approval finalization. 

Students with allergies or aversions that rise to the level of disability are also encouraged to register with OAE so that we may assist in the making of assignments that minimize interaction between residents with approved animals and residents who need to minimize exposure to animals. If there is a conflict between a resident with an approved animal and a neighboring resident with a disability that is exacerbated by the presence of the animal, RD&E, Student Housing Assignments, and the Office of Accessible Education will jointly review the case and take appropriate action, which may include reassigning one of the parties involved.