Service Animals in Laboratories


University of Utah Staff are required to have an accommodation in place with the Office of Employment Opportunity before bringing a service animal on campus.  Contact OEO at 801-581-8365.

In general, Service Animals are not allowed in laboratories.  The presence of a service animal has the potential to introduce organisms detrimental to experiments in the laboratory.  Chemicals or organisms used in the laboratory may be harmful to the animal.  Research conducted with animal subjects may be compromised by the presence of a service animal.

A staff member and their service animal partner with an accommodation in place with OEO may be granted access to a laboratory space on a case-by-case basis upon review and approval by EHS and the Principal Investigator.  A request for a service animal in laboratories working with pathogenic microorganisms or materials requiring containment at Biosafety Level 2 or higher, working with radioactive materials, or working with or housing research animals must also be approved by the University of Utah Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), the Radiation Safety Office (RSO), or the Office of Comparative Medicine (OCM), respectively.

Should access be granted to a service animal the animal will be required to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect the animal from any hazards present in the lab.  Additional measures may be required to protect the animal as well as the lab occupants, these will be identified as part of the review.

Contact EHS at 801-581-6590 to request a review.


When a student with a service animal chooses to take a laboratory course, they should contact the University’s Center for Disability and Access to help arrange necessary accommodations.  In consultation with faculty/staff in charge of the lab sessions, and the Environmental Health and Safety Department, as needed, the student can devise a plan that ensures the safety of everyone involved, including the service animal.