Does Michigan Recognize Emotional Support Animals?
Yes, the state of Michigan recognizes emotional support animals (ESA).
There are emotional support animal Michigan federal laws in place that require service dogs, psychiatric service dogs, therapy animals, and ESAs to be allowed in specific scenarios.
The Fair Housing Act (FHA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) guarantee civil rights to people with disabilities like housing, employment, and access to public places.
Michigan itself has few if any, state laws directly addressing ESAs, so they are required to abide by the laws set forth by the federal government.
What are the Emotional Support Animal Michigan Laws?
There are no specific emotional support animal Michigan laws addressing or protecting ESAs.
They follow federal laws from the FHA, ADA, and ACAA instead. This includes freedom from discrimination in housing, and certain public accommodations are to be made for those with ESAs.
One of the only state laws Michigan has is regarding falsely representing an ESA as a service animal. This misdemeanor is punishable by one or more of the following: imprisonment for not more than 90 days, a fine of not more than $500.00, and community service for not more than 30 days.
What are Michigan ESA Housing Laws?
According to the Fair Housing Act, housing providers must allow equal opportunity for ESA owners to live in their buildings.
The landlord is allowed to require an emotional support animal letter, but it is necessary to make reasonable accommodations to allow an ESA owner to live there. A reasonable accommodation is defined as ”a change, exception, or adjustment to a rule, policy, practice, or service that may be necessary for a person with disabilities to have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.”
This means a landlord is required to allow an ESA even if they have a no pet policy, cannot require pet deposits or charge pet fees, and are not allowed to restrict a tenant based on the breed of the animal.
What are Michigan ESA Employment Laws?
There are no emotional support animal Michigan laws protecting ESAs in the workplace.
They follow the laws outlined in the ADA that allow service animals to be trained for a specific task but do not require employers to allow ESAs.
Whether or not an ESA is allowed in your place of employment will be up to the business, not the state.
What are Michigan ESA Travel Laws?
Sadly, there are no emotional support animal Michigan laws regarding emotional support animals on planes.
The Air Carrier Access Act is a federal law that requires airlines to permit trained service animals. Most airlines only recognize service dogs as service animals, although miniature horses can also be trained service animals.
These laws, however, do not protect ESA owners. This means it is up to the airline to determine whether or not to allow ESAs on their flights, and all of the major airlines in the United States have updated their animal policy to no longer allow ESAs.
Anyone flying with an emotional support animal is required to reserve them as a regular pet and pay the necessary pet fees and abide by the animal specifications and restrictions set by each airline.
What are Michigan ESA Public Transportation Laws?
There are no emotional support animal Michigan laws regarding public transportation.
Their laws only protect service animals and require accommodations to be made for those using public transportation with a service animal.
How do You Get an Emotional Support Animal in Michigan?
Wondering how to get an emotional support animal in Michigan? First, you need to get in touch with a licensed mental health professional (LMHP).
To do this, you can see a health care provider and get a referral to an LMHP like a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist who can diagnose you with a qualifying emotional disability or mental health condition like obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic attacks, or anxiety.
Once the ESA eligibility is confirmed, the LMHP can write an emotional support animal letter addressing the disability-related need of the animal. This letter will be noted on professional letterhead and include the LMHP’s medical license number and contact information.
Be aware of scams that claim to “register” or ”certify” your animal as an ESA because there is no registration or certification for ESAs. Any place making this claim is illegitimate, and the letter you receive from them will not qualify your animal as an ESA.
To speed the process up a little, you can also visit a telehealth provider who will match you with a therapist knowledgeable in ESAs. CertaPet is a telehealth provider qualified to do this.
The therapist will meet with you over the computer, and the process will be the same from there. They will diagnose you if a mental illness if your symptoms qualify and write a letter if they deem it to be an excellent therapeutic route.
Do I Have to Tell My Landlord I Have an Emotional Support Animal in Michigan?
Yes, according to emotional support animal Michigan regulations you need to inform your landlord of your ESA.
The landlord can require supporting information regarding the ESA, so he may ask for specific forms proving the animal is necessary. This form will be the ESA letter your LMHP had written for you.
Can a Landlord Deny an Emotional Support Animal in Michigan?
Yes, but landlords can only deny an ESA if it causes undue financial and administrative burden, when it fundamentally alters the nature of the business, or when there is a direct threat to the well-being or safety of others.
Can You Have Multiple Emotional Support Animals in Michigan?
Yes, emotional support animal Michigan regulations do not limit the number of ESAs per owner. However, each animal must provide aid to a disability-related need, and an ESA letter detailing the need for an assistance animal must be written for each animal.
There are also no restrictions to what type of animal an ESA can be as long as an LMHP deems the animal suitable to be an ESA.