Service Animal Guidelines

Swarthmore College welcomes service animals on campus. The United States Department of Justice has created a helpful brief about service animals in public and private settings, which addresses some questions and concerns about what Federal law allows with regard to service animals. Please visit the link at U.S. Department of Justice ADA Publication on Service Animals to learn more. Student Disability Services is available to answer any questions you may have. Contact Director of Student Disability Services Monica Vance at mvance1@swarthmore.edu or 610-328-7358, or Assistant Director Jenna Rose at jrose2@swarthmore.edu or 610-690-5538.

5 Tips: When You Meet a Service Dog 

  1. Do not pet or interact with a service dog when it is wearing its harness. If the dog is resting without its harness, ask the owner's permission before petting the dog and respect the person's decision if they say no.
  2. Do not let your pet near a service dog, even if your pet is leashed. Allowing your pet to visit or "say hi," even for a moment, can cause the service dog to lose focus on the important job it has to do.
  3. For a blind traveler, do not shout directions, take the person by the arm, or interrupt them when they are crossing the street. If you are concerned for their safety, ask them if they need help first.
  4. It's helpful to let a person who is blind know that you are nearby and tell them if you have a dog with you.
  5. Do not offer the service dog food or treats. Remember... distracting a service dog can make its owner vulnerable to harm, so treat the dog as if it is not there.