Michigan state representatives have again proposed legislation seeking to reign in assistance animals. Per House Bill 4910, a person would receive a misdemeanor for having a fake support animal. Punishment includes up to a $500 fine, up to 90 days in jail and community service.
The bill would also require those receiving an emotional support animal recommendation must have a disability and have been treated by a health care provider for the prior six months.
The bill has been referred to the Committee on Regulatory Reform.
Like Illinois’ recent passage of the Animal Assistance Integrity Act, ESAD International strongly supports Michigan’s effort to crack down on the ESA wild-west mentality found within the online marketplace.
According to ESAD’s clinical team, there’s an issue with the state’s stipulation of a six-month clinical relationship.
“Therapeutically, if we take an ESA from a person for six months or two months or whatever, we are increasing the risk of decompensation of the client’s mental health, which puts them at risk for more drastic coping, such as suicidal ideation, intent, plan, etc. or increase in alcohol / drug use, overdose, etc.”
Continuing, “for some people, the ESA is the main reason for getting up in the morning. Taking this away puts them at risk for further deterioration where they may become a greater risk of harm to self or others.”
“Operated by anonymous sketchy online vendors, the web drowns in fraud and duplicity as ethically-flexible operators churn out bogus documentation all while ignoring client and animal welfare. With slight modifications to Michigan’s proposal, we’d be happy to rise in support of their effort,” said Chaz Stevens, founder of ESAD International.
“Michican residents can take advantage of ESABest™, our flagship product focused on mental health care and aligned with the latest professional ethics, standards of practice, and fully compliant with federal and state law. ESABest puts the clinician in a position to know, all while emphasizing client care and confidentiality,” he added.
Since 2015, Stevens’ Boca Raton, FL-based ESAD International has been providing assistance animal products and services to clients across the globe.
“If done correctly, Michigan can help those in need and keep the public’s interest in mind,” said Stevens.
ESAD International strongly suggests that clients do not seek counseling or assessment for the sole purpose of obtaining an emotional support animal letter of recommendation.
About ESAD International
All across North America, Europe, and Asia, ESAD’s team of licensed local mental health counselors provide emotional support animal services thru online and in-person sessions