Approved by the MSU Library Executive Team - 04/01/2019
The MSU Library Mission statement
We support and advance teaching, learning, and research for Montana State University
and the people of Montana by providing access to information and knowledge.
In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), all registered service
animals are welcomed and permitted in the MSU Library. Other animals may be prohibited.
This policy details our animal policies, policies that allow the patrons of the MSU
Library to use the facilities and programs in a safe, pleasant environment, conducive
to study and research.
Animal Policy at a Glance
- Pets: Not allowed in any campus building, including the library.
- Comfort Animals or Emotional Support Animals: Allowed with Blue Card (see below)
- Blue cards must be officially approved by MSU Disabilities Services
- Therapy Animals with Handlers: Approved for specific events only
- Service Animals or Assistance Animals: Allowed in all campus buildings
What Patrons Can Expect from Library Staff
- Our Policies are Campus Policies (see below)
- We support our community by creating, providing, and maintaining a safe, pleasant,
and welcoming environment for all patrons.
- We courteously and proactively address any concerns, disruptions, or interactions
that are brought to our attention related to animals in the building.
- Disruptions include unruly or disruptive behavior, e.g., barking, urination, or not
under owner’s control.
- If the animal displays any disruptive behavior, regardless of category/definition,
you will be asked to leave the building.
- We may also ask if you have a Blue Card issued by MSU Disabilities Services. The card
is officially approved and provided to you by their office and names your animal an
“assistance animal” as an academic accommodation. To request a Blue Card (see information
- If your animal is not allowed in the building, we will ask you to leave.
- If we interact with you repeatedly about..., we will inform University Police.
What We Expect from Library Patrons
- Ensure that your animal is allowed in the building according to campus policies and
applicable definitions (see below).
- If allowed, your animal must be leashed or harnessed and remain on the floor at all
times. Animals may not be carried and may not sit or stand on any furniture.
- Cooperate with and treat us with courtesy if we directly address any concerns or interactions
that are brought to our attention; you will let us know if you have a Blue Card issued
by MSU Disabilities Services if asked and applicable.
Our Policies Are Campus Policies
Details & Definitions
Service Animals (also called Assistance Animals): Dogs individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.
- Service animals are working animals, not pets. The task or work they’ve been trained
to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. (https://petpartners.org/learn/terminology/)
- Animals with the sole function of providing comfort or emotional support do not qualify
as service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). (https://adata.org/publication/service-animals-booklet)
Therapy Animals: Volunteer therapy animal teams provide affection and comfort to members of the public,
typically in facility settings such as hospitals, assisted living, and schools, at
pre-designated times. (https://petpartners.org/learn/terminology/)
- These pets are registered with their handlers, have a special aptitude for interacting
with members of the public, and enjoy doing so. Therapy animal handlers volunteer
their time to visit with their animals in the community.
- Therapy animals have no special rights of access, may not enter businesses with “no
pets” policies, or accompany their handler in the cabin of an airplane regardless
of their therapy animal designation.
- Therapy animals must be approved in campus buildings for specific events such as Paws
to de-Stress, case-by-case.
Comfort Animals (also called Emotional Support Animals): Animals that provide companionship, relieve loneliness, and sometimes help with depression,
anxiety, and certain phobias, but do not have special training to perform tasks that
assist people with disabilities. (https://adata.org/publication/service-animals-booklet)
- The pet must be prescribed by a licensed mental health professional for a person with
a mental illness. The prescription must state that the individual has an impairment
that substantially limits one or more major life activities, and that the presence
of the animal is necessary for the individual’s mental health. (https://adata.org/publication/service-animals-booklet)
- While emotional support animals or comfort animals are often used as part of a medical
treatment plan, they are pets and are not considered service animals under the ADA1
and have no special rights of access. As such, they may only accompany their owners
in public areas with the express permission of each individual venue and/or facility
management, although they may travel with their owners on airplanes with documentation
as required by the airline.
A comfort animal must be approved by MSU Office of Disabilities to be in the library
and you will be issued a Blue Card. To request a Blue Card, visit-