Service animals

The Senate Civil Law Committee heard SB 240 authored by Sen. Leising on service animals. The author clarified that this bill is for emotional support animals not service animals. The bill specifies that a landlord may not ask an individual with a disability who seeks to use an emotional support animal about the existence, nature, and extent of the individual’s disability, but that the landlord may require that the individual certify in writing from a health service provider the individual’s need for a service animal. It also provides that an individual with a disability that is not apparent who submits a request for a service animal that falsely suggests the individual has a disability that entitles the individual to the use of a service animal in a dwelling commits a Class A infraction. The bill also specifies that a landlord that permits an individual with a disability the use of a service animal on the premises of a dwelling as a reasonable accommodation under certain federal, state, or local laws is not liable for an injury to another individual caused by an individual’s service animal.

The bill was amended to replace “service animal” with “emotional support animal.” A representative from the Apartment Association testified in favor of the bill. A representative from the Indiana Statewide Independent Living Council testified about concerns with the bill. Indiana State Nurses Association testified that advanced practiced nurses should also be allowed to make a determination about the need for a service animal. The amended bill passed 6-3.

Read the bill at https://iga.in.gov/legislative/2018/bills/senate/240