Missouri state representatives have again proposed legislation seeking to reign in assistance animals. Per House Bill 1319, any person knowingly misrepresenting a dog as a service dog for the purposes of receiving accommodations regarding service dogs under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act would be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Misrepresentation of an assistance animal includes, but is not limited to:
- Knowingly creating documents that falsely represent that an animal is an assistance animal;
- Knowingly providing to another person documents falsely stating that an animal is an assistance animal;
- Knowingly fitting an animal, if the animal is not an assistance animal, with a harness, collar, vest, or sign of the type commonly used by a person with a disability to indicate an animal is an assistance animal; or
- Knowingly and intentionally misrepresenting a material fact to a health care provider for the purpose of obtaining documentation from the health care provider necessary to designate an animal as an assistance animal. All documentation for an assistance animal must be from a qualified professional as permitted under the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 3601, et seq., or the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. Section 701, et seq.
“Anonymous sketchy online vendors drown the internet with scammy emotional support animal products. It’s just bogus. As in Florida and Michigan, we rise up in strong support of Missouri’s proposed legislation,” said Chaz Stevens, founder of ESAD International.
“Missouri 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.
“We’re really happy to see the state of Missouri helping those in need while keeping 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