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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 23, 2018 10:45 AM
From: Representative Dan Moul
To: All House members
Subject: Assistance and Service Animal Integrity Act

In the near future, I will be introducing legislation that would create the Pennsylvania Assistance and Service Animal Integrity Act.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Fair Housing Act (FHA), Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), and the Rehabilitation Act permit individuals with disabilities (mental and/or physical) to be accompanied by animals in places where animals are not usually permitted, such as homes, airplanes, public buildings, etc.

While these federal laws were well-intentioned and assist the disabled, many landlords, homeowner associations, and manufactured housing communities struggle with enforcement of their pet restrictions when residents commit fraud. Individuals are increasingly claiming that their animal is for service or assistance, when in fact, the individuals do not have a disability and simply want a house pet. Currently, property owners can request verification of a service or assistance animal as well as medical documentation of the disability-related need.

This legislation would take verification one step further and impose penalties for those who:
  • Misrepresent themselves as disabled or misrepresent to another (verifiers) that they have a disability and/or
  • Misrepresent their animal as an assistance or service animal.

Penalties would be imposed as follows:
  • Offense of misrepresentation of entitlement to assistance or service animal: Misdemeanor of the third degree.
  • Offense of misrepresentation of animal as an assistance or service animal: Summary offense, with a fine of up to $1,000.

This bill would also provide landlords with immunity from liability for injuries caused by an individual’s assistance or service animal permitted on the landlord’s property as a reasonable accommodation.

Please join me in cosponsoring this legislation and help protect the health and safety of Pennsylvania’s residents.

Introduced as HB2049