New MI Bill Wants to Crack Down on Fake Emotional Support Animals
Do you think people are taking advantage of Michigan's current emotional support animal laws?
One Michigan State Representative does, and he's proposed a bill to crack down on it.
Fox 17 reports that State Rep. Matt Hall, R-Marshall, is proposing House Bill No. 4910 to
regulate the prescription of emotional support animals by health care providers and requests for reasonable accommodation for emotional support animals in housing; to provide for the powers and duties of certain state and local governmental officers and entities; and to prescribe penalties.
Hall believes people are abusing the current system to try get their animals into housing or private places that typically ban animals or certain breeds.
He tells Fox 17,
“There’s kind of a wild west out there when it comes these emotional support animals. You can go online with very little vetting find an out-of-state counselor who will write you a prescription basically for an emotional support animal...
A lot of apartments, condominiums and nursing homes, ban pitbulls and they might allow other animals. What we are finding is that people will go on and say well, ‘I need this pitbull because it provides emotional support.' In reality it’s just a pet, and that’s not what the intent of the law is.
It’s not for people to just take their pet whenever they want or to skirt association rules or apartment rules, that’s not the purpose."
The new bill would require animal owners to get approval at a health care provider in the state of Michigan and prove that the animal helps for a specific disability. Anyone who tries to cheat the system could be charged with a misdemeanor and face fines or jail time.
House Bill 4910 has passed committee and will be up for a vote in the House in January.