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AB-468 Emotional support dogs.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 04/06/2021 09:00 PM
AB468:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 06, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 22, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 468


Introduced by Assembly Member Friedman

February 08, 2021


An act to add Article 4 (commencing with Section 122317) to Chapter 5 of Part 6 of Division 105 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to support dogs.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 468, as amended, Friedman. Emotional support dogs.
Existing law regulates the sale of dogs and cats. Existing law also makes a person who knowingly and fraudulently represents, through verbal or written notice, the person to be the owner or trainer of a canine licensed as, to be qualified as, or identified as, a guide, signal, or service dog, as defined, guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding 6 months, by a fine not exceeding $1,000, or by both that fine and imprisonment.
This bill would require a person or business that sells or provides a dog as an emotional support dog to provide an explicit disclosure form to the potential receiver of the dog stating that the dog does not have the special training required of a guide, signal, or service dog and is not entitled to the rights and privileges accorded by law to a guide, signal, or service dog. The bill would require a person or business that offers to sell or provide a certificate, identification, tag, vest, leash, or harness for an emotional support dog to provide an explicit disclosure form, as specified, to the buyer or potential buyer, and would prohibit that person or business that offers to sell or provide a certification or registration, or both, for an emotional support dog from implying that there is a government validation or endorsement of the certification or registry. The bill would also prohibit a health care practitioner from providing documentation relating to an individual’s need for an emotional support dog unless the health care practitioner complies with specified requirements, including holding a valid license, establishing a client-provider relationship with the individual for at least 30 days prior to providing the documentation, and completing an in-person clinical evaluation of the individual regarding the need for an emotional support dog. The bill would make a person or business who fails to comply with these requirements or who knowingly and fraudulently represents, sells, or offers for sale, or attempts to represent, sell, or offer for sale, an emotional support dog as being entitled to the rights and privileges accorded by law to a guide, signal, or service dog, subject to a fine or civil penalty. The bill would state that this provision is not to be construed to restrict or change existing federal and state law related to a person’s rights for reasonable accommodation and equal access to housing, as specified.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Article 4 (commencing with Section 122317) is added to Chapter 5 of Part 6 of Division 105 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:
Article  4. Emotional Support Dogs

122317.
 (a) A person or business that sells or provides a dog as an emotional support dog shall provide an explicit disclosure form to the potential receiver of the dog stating that the dog does not have the special training required of a guide, signal, or service dog and is not entitled to the rights and privileges accorded by law to a guide, signal, or service dog.
(b) A person or business that offers to sell or provide a certificate, identification, tag, vest, leash, or harness for an emotional support dog shall provide an explicit disclosure form to the buyer or potential buyer stating that the material does not entitle an emotional support dog to the rights and privileges accorded by law to a guide, signal, or service dog.
(c) A person or business that offers to sell or provide a certification or registration, or both, for an emotional support dog shall not imply that there is a government validation or endorsement of the certification or registry.

122318.
 (a) A health care practitioner shall not provide documentation relating to an individual’s need for an emotional support dog unless the health care practitioner complies with all of the following criteria:
(1) Possesses a valid, active license and includes the effective date, license number, jurisdiction, and type of professional license in the documentation.
(2) Is licensed to provide professional services within the scope of the license in the jurisdiction in which the documentation is provided.
(3) Establishes a client-provider relationship with the individual for at least 30 days prior to providing the documentation requested regarding the individual’s need for an emotional support dog.
(4) Completes an in-person clinical evaluation of the individual regarding the need for an emotional support dog.
(b) For purposes of this section, “health care practitioner” means a person who is licensed and regulated pursuant to Division 2 (commencing with Section 500) of the Business and Professions Code, who is acting within the scope of practice of the person’s license or certificate.

122319.
 (a) A person who does either of the following may be punished by a fine or civil penalty:
(1) Knowingly and fraudulently represents, sells, or offers for sale, or attempts to represent, sell, or offer for sale, an emotional support dog as being entitled to the rights and privileges accorded by law to a guide, signal, or service dog.
(2) Violates the provisions of this article.
(b) As used in this article, “guide, signal, or service dog” has the meaning set forth in subdivisions (d), (e), and (f) of Section 365.5 of the Penal Code, and paragraph (6) of subdivision (b) of Section 54.1 of the Civil Code.
(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict or change existing federal and state law related to a person’s rights for reasonable accommodation and equal access to housing, including, but not limited to, rights afforded under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 12900) of Part 2.8 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code), the Unruh Civil Rights Act (Section 51 of the Civil Code), and the Disabled Persons Act (Part 2.5 (commencing with Section 54) of Division 1 of the Civil Code).