Lying about emotional support animals would be misdemeanor under new bill

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LANSING (WJRT) (9/9/2019) - Falsely claiming a pet is an emotional support animal would become a crime in Michigan under a new bill introduced in the State House last week.

Only people with a diagnosed disability would be eligible for an emotional support animal and allowed to keep the animal in rental or group housing.

The legislation would require doctors to treat a patient for at least six months before prescribing an emotional support animal.

The bill would make it a misdemeanor for Michiganders to lie about having an emotional support animal. The crime would be punishable by 90 days in jail, a $500 fine and community service.

Landlords also would be allowed to terminate leases for anyone caught misrepresenting a pet as an emotional support animal.

The bill was referred to the House Committee on Regulatory Reform. It would have to pass there, the full House and Senate before Gov. Gretchen Whitmer could sign it into law.