New service animal law includes voluntary state ID, patch

Posted at 12:20 PM, Jan 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-13 12:20:15-05

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A new Michigan law that takes effect next week updates service animal rules and gives veterans and others with disabilities the option to have a state patch that can be affixed to their animal’s vest.

The new IDs and patches are voluntary. But state civil rights officials and lawmakers on Wednesday encouraged those with service dogs or miniature horses to register to ease their ability to enter businesses, schools and other public accommodations.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley says the law going into effect Monday brings Michigan in line with the Americans with Disabilities Act. It also is intended to make it easier for establishments to determine who is entitled to a service animal accommodation.

The law also stiffens penalties for people who falsely say their pet is a service animal.