Michigan Service Dog Laws

Service dogs play a vital role in assisting individuals with disabilities, providing them with independence and support. In Michigan, specific laws are in place to ensure that these individuals and their service dogs are protected. Let’s take a closer look at Michigan’s service dog laws and the rights and responsibilities associated with them.

Accommodation Law

Under Michigan law, it is a misdemeanor for a proprietor to refuse entry or deny the use of their establishment to a person with disabilities who is accompanied by a guide or leader dog, hearing dog, or service dog. The dog must be visibly identifiable, either by wearing a harness or a blaze orange leash and collar, hearing dog cape, or service dog backpack. Moreover, the person with disabilities must possess a pictured identification card certifying that the dog was trained by a qualified organization or trainer. It’s important to note that this law also applies to trainers of guide, hearing, or service dogs[^1^].

Harassment of/Interference with Service Dogs

Michigan law prohibits individuals from intentionally and unjustifiably assaulting, beating, harassing, injuring, or attempting to do so to a guide or leader dog, hearing dog, or service dog[^2^]. Violation of this law is a misdemeanor and can result in imprisonment for up to 90 days, a fine of up to $500.00, or both[^2^].

Furthermore, it is also unlawful to cause bodily harm to a service animal or render them unable to perform their duties[^3^]. In such cases, the penalty can range from a gross misdemeanor to imprisonment for up to two years or a fine of up to $5,000. Mandatory restitution, including the service animal user’s loss of income, veterinary expenses, transportation costs, temporary replacement assistance services, and service animal replacement or retraining costs, may also be imposed[^3^].

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Driving Law

Michigan’s driving law emphasizes the need for drivers to exercise caution and take necessary precautions when approaching a crosswalk or any other pedestrian crossing. Drivers must ensure the safety of blind pedestrians using a dog guide or walker. Failure to do so can result in liability for damages caused to the blind pedestrian. Violators may also face investigation by a peace officer and potential referral to a prosecuting attorney[^4^].

Licensing Law

Michigan’s licensing law exempts certain service dogs from licensing fees. Dogs used as guide or leader dogs for blind individuals, hearing dogs for deaf or audibly impaired individuals, or service dogs for physically limited individuals are not subject to licensing fees. Additionally, dogs owned by partnerships, corporations, or other legal entities that train dogs for these specific purposes are also exempt[^5^].

Fraudulent Representation

It is important to respect the rights of individuals who genuinely rely on service dogs. Michigan law prohibits individuals who are not deaf, audibly impaired, or otherwise physically limited from using or possessing a dog wearing a blaze orange leash and collar or harness in public places. Violation of this law is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $10.00[^6^].

Michigan’s service dog laws are designed to ensure that individuals with disabilities and their service dogs are protected, allowing them to navigate society with confidence. Understanding and respecting these laws is crucial in creating an inclusive and supportive environment for everyone.

For more information about service dogs and related topics, visit 1mquotes.

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