New Michigan Law Aims To Protect Service Animals And Their Humans
You may see them in your day to day life, or maybe you know someone with a service animal. But these good boys and girls in vests are doing their best work to help their owner get through their day to day life.
There are several west Michigan charities that help those who are in need of an Assistance Dog, like Paws With A Cause. These highly trained dogs are there to assist people in all walks of life from medical rehab to helping veterans with PTSD after their service. So if you see them working, make sure you don't pet them.
Great news for those who need an animal for assistance in Michigan, because a new law taking effect in March plans to help protect their access to public spaces, as well as protect us all from imposters.
In case you didn't know what it takes to earn the title of service animal- they are defined as an animal that provides assistance to a person with a disability. And that job takes a while to learn! In fact on average, it generally takes almost two years to fully train a service animal.
This new law states that Michigan businesses and restaurants can only ask a service animal in-training to leave if they're "out of control" or are not house trained. Meaning, this will allow organizations like Paws With A Cause to more efficiently and quickly train these dogs to help their future best friends.
But don't think that gives you a pass to take your puppy in public and pretend they're service animal. There are some steep consequences if you do.
You can face a fine if you try to pass off an unqualified animal as a service animal or a service-animal in training. The state of Michigan qualifies it as a misdemeanor, and punishments include potential prison time, a fine and/or up to 30 days of community service.
So if you see a service dog working, remember to let them keep training and to leave them without petting them. After all, they've got some big plans ahead and they need all of the focus they can get.