Michigan State Service Dog Laws

The full text of Michigan law can be found here. Please expand the sections below to read specifically about the laws related to service animals.

Sec. 3.  (1) Subject to subsection (2), the department shall develop and make available upon request a voluntary identification and patch for a service animal for a person with a disability.

(2) To be eligible to receive the voluntary identification and patch described in subsection (1), the person seeking the materials shall provide all of the following:

(a) An affidavit signed by the person seeking the identification and patch attesting that the service animal for which the identification and patch are being sought has been trained to be a service animal for use by a person with a disability.

(b) Documentation from an appropriate health care or rehabilitation professional that the individual requires the assistance of a service animal due to a disability.

Sec. 5.  The department shall use its existing telephone complaint hotline to receive reports of problems encountered by a person with a disability using a service animal and to receive reports of a person impersonating a person with a disability and using a service animal.  The department may refer an alleged violation of section 3(2)(a)  [FN1] to the appropriate law enforcement agency for investigation.
Sec. 1.  (1) Notwithstanding any law or ordinance to the contrary, a service animal is not subject to any fee for licensing if either of the following applies:

(a) The service animal is used by a person with a disability.

(b) The service animal is owned by a partnership, corporation, or other legal entity that trains service animals for use by a person with a disability.

(2) As used in this section:

(a) “Person with a disability” means a person who has a disability as defined in section 12102 of the Americans with disabilities act of 1990, 42 USC 12102, and 28 CFR 36.104.

(b) As used in subdivision (a), “person with a disability” includes a veteran who has been diagnosed with 1 or more of the following:

(i) Post-traumatic stress disorder.

(ii) Traumatic brain injury.

(iii) Other service-related disabilities.

(c) “Service animal” means all of the following:

(i) That term as defined in 28 CFR 36.104.

(ii) A miniature horse that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks as described in 28 CFR 36.104 for the benefit of a person with a disability.

(d) “Veteran” means any of the following:

(i) A person who performed military service in the armed forces for a period of more than 90 days and separated from the armed forces in a manner other than a dishonorable discharge.

(ii) A person discharged or released from military service because of a service-related disability.

(iii) A member of a reserve branch of the armed forces at the time he or she was ordered to military service during a period of war, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge is authorized, and was released from military service in a manner other than a dishonorable discharge.

Sec. 8a.  (1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, an animal control shelter or animal protection shelter shall not permit a person to adopt a dog, cat, or ferret that has not been altered, unless that person has entered into a contract for the alteration of the dog, cat, or ferret with the animal control shelter or animal protection shelter.  The contract shall state that the adopting person agrees to have an alteration performed on the dog, cat, or ferret and shall otherwise comply with this section.

(2) A contract with an animal control shelter or animal protection shelter entered into pursuant to subsection (1) shall require the adopting person to have an alteration performed on the dog, cat, or ferret within 4 weeks after the adoption date if at the time of adoption the dog, cat, or ferret is 6 months of age or older.  If the dog, cat, or ferret to be adopted is under 6 months of age at the time of adoption, the contract shall contain the date upon which the dog, cat, or ferret will be 6 months of age, and shall require the person adopting the dog, cat, or ferret to have an alteration performed on the dog, cat, or ferret within 4 weeks after that date.  This section does not prevent a veterinarian from performing an alteration on a dog, cat, or ferret that is under 6 months of age.

(3) Upon certification by a veterinarian in writing that a dog, cat, or ferret has a serious, permanent medical or health problem that prevents an alteration, the dog, cat, or ferret adopted is not required to be altered.  Upon certification by a veterinarian in writing that an alteration poses a serious, temporary medical or health problem, the alteration may be postponed.  The person adopting the dog, cat, or ferret shall have it reevaluated by a veterinarian at intervals not to exceed 14 days and shall have the alteration performed no later than 7 days after a veterinarian determines that the temporary problem is resolved.

(4) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (7), a contract entered into pursuant to subsection (1) shall require the adopting person to leave with the animal control shelter or animal protection shelter, or a designee of the animal control shelter or animal protection shelter, a good faith deposit of at least $25.00 that indicates the person’s intention to have the adopted dog, cat, or ferret altered within the time provided pursuant to subsection (2).  If the person fails to comply with the terms of the contract, the deposit is forfeited.  The good faith deposit shall be returned to the adopting person if the adopting person submits written certification from a veterinarian of either of the following:

(a) The dog, cat, or ferret died within the time period in which the alteration was required under subsection (2).

(b) The dog, cat, or ferret has a serious, permanent medical or health problem that prevents an alteration.

(5) Money forfeited under subsection (4) shall be used by the animal control shelter or animal protection shelter to finance alterations, for public education regarding the value of having dogs, cats, and ferrets altered, or to otherwise ensure compliance with this section.

(6) If the adopting person complies with the terms of a contract entered into under subsection (1), the good faith deposit of at least $25.00 shall be refunded by the animal control shelter, animal protection shelter, or a designee of the animal control shelter or animal protection shelter, upon submission by the adopting person of written certification by a veterinarian that the adopted dog, cat, or ferret was altered.  The certificate shall include the date of alteration, the name of the owner of the dog, cat, or ferret, the description of the dog, cat, or ferret, and the signature of the veterinarian who performed the alteration.

(7) The good faith deposit under subsection (4) is not required if 1 or more of the following apply:

(a) A dog is transferred to a local, state, or federal law enforcement agency.

(b) A dog is transferred to an organization or trainer that trains guide or leader dogs for blind persons, hearing dogs for deaf or audibly impaired persons, or service dogs for physically limited persons.

(c) A dog, cat, or ferret is transferred to another animal control shelter or animal protection shelter or is transferred to a person who will transfer the animal to another animal control shelter or animal protection shelter.  Before the first animal control shelter or animal protection shelter releases the animal, it shall obtain from the person to whom the animal is to be released a written statement by the second animal control shelter or animal protection shelter that it is willing to accept the animal for purposes of adoption or humane euthanasia.  Promptly after receipt of the animal by the second animal control shelter or animal protection shelter, the person to whom the animal was released shall provide the first animal control shelter or animal protection shelter with a written statement by the second animal control shelter or animal protection shelter containing a description of the dog, cat, or ferret and acknowledging its receipt on a date specified in the statement.

(8) A contract entered into pursuant to subsection (1) shall include a statement that if the terms of the contract are breached because a person adopting a dog, cat, or ferret fails to have the animal altered as required in the contract, then the person agrees to pay liquidated damages of the greater of $100.00 or actual reasonable costs incurred by the animal control shelter or animal protection shelter to enforce the contract.  Immediately before a person signs the contract, a representative of the animal control shelter or animal protection shelter shall verbally direct the person’s attention to the liquidated damages agreement in the contract.

Sec. 50a.  (1) An individual shall not do either of the following:

(a) Willfully and maliciously assault, beat, harass, injure, or attempt to assault, beat, harass, or injure a service animal that he or she knows or has reason to believe is a service animal used by a person with a disability.

(b) Willfully and maliciously impede or interfere with, or attempt to impede or interfere with, duties performed by a service animal that he or she knows or has reason to believe is a service animal used by a person with a disability.

(2) An individual who violates subsection (1) is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 90 days or a fine of not more than $500.00, or both.

(3) In a prosecution for a violation of subsection (1), evidence that the defendant initiated or continued conduct directed toward a service animal described in subsection (1) after being requested to avoid or discontinue that conduct or similar conduct by a person with a disability being served or assisted by the service animal shall give rise to a rebuttable presumption that the conduct was initiated or continued maliciously.

(4) A conviction and imposition of a sentence under this section does not prevent a conviction and imposition of a sentence under any other applicable provision of law.

(5) As used in this section:

(a) “Harass” means to engage in any conduct directed toward a service animal described in subsection (1) that is likely to impede or interfere with the service animal’s performance of its duties or that places the person with a disability being served or assisted by the service animal in danger of injury.

(b) “Injure” means to cause any physical injury to a service animal described in subsection (1).

(c) “Maliciously” means any of the following:

(i) With intent to assault, beat, harass, or injure a service animal described in subsection (1).

(ii) With intent to impede or interfere with duties performed by a service animal described in subsection (1).

(iii) With intent to disturb, endanger, or cause emotional distress to a person with a disability being served or assisted by a service animal described in subsection (1).

(iv) With knowledge that the individual’s conduct will or is likely to harass or injure a service animal described in subsection (1).

(v) With knowledge that the individual’s conduct will or is likely to impede or interfere with duties performed by a service animal described in subsection (1).

(vi) With knowledge that the individual’s conduct will or is likely to disturb, endanger, or cause emotional distress to a person with a disability being served or assisted by a service animal described in subsection (1).

(d) “Person with a disability” means a person who has a disability as defined in section 12102 of the Americans with disabilities act of 1990, 42 USC 12102, and 28 CFR 36.104.

(e) As used in subdivision (d), “person with a disability” includes a veteran who has been diagnosed with 1 or more of the following:

(i) Post-traumatic stress disorder.

(ii) Traumatic brain injury.

(iii) Other service-related disabilities.

(f) “Service animal” means all of the following:

(i) That term as defined in 28 CFR 36.104.

(ii) A miniature horse that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks as described in 28 CFR 36.104 for the benefit of a person with a disability.

(g) “Veteran” means any of the following:

(i) A person who performed military service in the armed forces for a period of more than 90 days and separated from the armed forces in a manner other than a dishonorable discharge.

(ii) A person discharged or released from military service because of a service-related disability.

(iii) A member of a reserve branch of the armed forces at the time he or she was ordered to military service during a period of war, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge is authorized, and was released from military service in a manner other than a dishonorable discharge.

Sec. 1a.  As used in this act:

(a) “Blind” means a person who has a visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correction, or has limitation of his or her field of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angular distance not greater than 20 degrees.

(b) “Cane” means an aid used by a blind pedestrian for travel and identification purposes that is white in color with or without a red tip.

(c) “Crosswalk” means that term as defined in section 10 of the Michigan vehicle code, 1949 PA 300, MCL 257.10.

(d) “Dog guide” means a dog, in harness, that has been formally trained and that is used by a blind person as a travel aid.

(e) “Walker” means an aid used by a blind pedestrian for travel and identification purposes that is white in color or has white legs with or without a red tip.

Sec. 2.  (1) A driver of a vehicle shall not approach a crosswalk or any other pedestrian crossing without taking all necessary precautions to avoid accident or injury to a blind pedestrian carrying a cane or using a dog guide or walker.

(2) A driver who approaches a crosswalk or any other pedestrian crossing without taking all necessary precautions to avoid accident or injury to a blind pedestrian carrying a cane or using a dog guide or walker is liable in damages for any injuries caused the blind pedestrian.  A blind pedestrian who does not carry a cane or use a dog guide or walker has all of the rights and privileges conferred upon any other pedestrian by the laws of this state.  The failure of a blind pedestrian to carry a cane or use a dog guide or walker shall not be treated as evidence of negligence in a civil action for injury to the blind pedestrian or for the blind pedestrian’s wrongful death.

(3) If a person alleges to a peace officer a violation of subsection (1), the peace officer shall investigate the alleged violation.  The prosecuting attorney shall review the peace officer’s investigative report to determine whether a violation of subsection (1) has occurred and whether to issue charges.  Upon the request of the blind pedestrian and after reviewing the investigative report, a prosecuting attorney shall inform the blind pedestrian of his or her decision and the reason or reasons supporting that decision.

Sec. 3.  A person who violates section 2(1)  [FN1] is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or by a fine of not more than $100.00, or both.
Sec. 1.  As used in this act:

(a) “Person with a disability” means a person who has a disability as defined in section 12102 of the Americans with disabilities act of 1990, 42 USC 12102 and 28 CFR 36.104.

(b) As used in subdivision (a), “person with a disability” includes a veteran who has been diagnosed with 1 or more of the following:

(i) Post-traumatic stress disorder.

(ii) Traumatic brain injury.

(iii) Other service-related disabilities.

(c) “Service animal” means all of the following:

(i) That term as defined in 28 CFR 36.104.

(ii) A miniature horse that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks as described in 28 CFR 36.104 for the benefit of a person with a disability.

(d) “Veteran” means any of the following:

(i) A person who performed military service in the armed forces for a period of more than 90 days and separated from the armed forces in a manner other than a dishonorable discharge.

(ii) A person discharged or released from military service because of a service-related disability.

(iii) A member of a reserve branch of the armed forces at the time he or she was ordered to military service during a period of war, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge is authorized, and was released from military service in a manner other than a dishonorable discharge.

Sec. 2.  A person shall not falsely represent that he or she is in possession of a service animal, or a service animal in training, in any public place.
Sec. 3.  A person who knowingly violates this act is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by 1 or more of the following:

(a) Imprisonment for not more than 90 days.

(b) A fine of not more than $500.00.

(c) Community service for not more than 30 days.

Sec. 4.  The department of civil rights shall use its existing telephone complaint hotline to receive reports of a person falsely representing that he or she is in possession of a service animal or a service animal in training.  The department may refer an alleged violation of this act to the appropriate law enforcement agency for investigation.