- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 25, 2017

WINFIELD, Kan. (AP) - A student in Kansas is pushing back against a private college’s policy to keep her “service dog in training” on campus.

Southwestern College freshman Casey Cargill is a certified dog trainer with the nonprofit Training to Lead, KSNW-TV (https://bit.ly/2qaDciD ) reported. Cargill began training a poodle named Ike in March, and said she sent the college a courtesy letter explaining why Ike would be living on campus and going to class with her.

“It’s just part of his training so he gets used to people being around him and used to the environment, high traffic and loud noises and things like that,” she said.

The dean of students sent a letter dated April 19 that said Cargill was no longer allowed to have her dog on campus because the school’s policy only allows service animals on campus for people with disabilities, not trainers.

“I’m just really angry and frustrated about it all,” Cargill said.

A state law says that any professional trainer who is training a service dog has the same rights as a person who has a service dog for a disability. According to the law, service dogs are allowed in public buildings, public facilities, public modes of transportation, hotels, lodging places and places of accommodation.

The college said the law doesn’t apply to Cargill because a lodging place or public place is not the same as a residential-dorm room.

Southwestern College has a no-pet policy in its residence halls and apartments. The only exception is under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act. In order to qualify for the exception, students must have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, and present a record of that impairment to the school.

Cargill, who has trained over 20 dogs, said she plans to fight the college’s policy.

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Information from: KSNW-TV.

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