FAQ

Wouldn’t people fake their way through getting qualified?

A. This is possible. Such like this is always possible. However, the person will have to see a psychologist, or psychiatrist on a regular basis and convince the professional that they really need this. There are no online questions, no phone interviews once a year, but actual mental health treatment.

If a person has insomnia or arachnophobia, do they qualify?

A. In the end, this is up to the professional to decide, but most likely – no. The reason for this is while insomnia is a legitimate reason to get an Emotional Support Animal, it is not likely to cause adverse effects when dealing in a social environment.

The rationale for a Mental Health Support Animal to be with the person when they go out is to help them deal and cope with the outside world. Insomnia is likely not to have anything to do with this situation.

People are buying service/support tools now, what’s to stop them here?Can a public entity question the patient?

A. Under the law, the state would have already verified that the person is suffering from a mental health condition, and the animal is important in the therapy and care. This will be authenticated by the ID, and the registration site. This means there is no need for the entity to question further.

Why the new classification. Can’t we just require this of support animals?

A. No, the requisites of a support animal is defined by federal law. In addition, to require these requirements on support animals may make it harder for people that will benefit from support animals, but don’t need them in public.

Isn’t registration a violation of privacy?

A. As much as having a photo ID is. First, the professional has to register. This is to allow them to have 2 step authentication which will be important to keep privacy of the professional’s patients, and verifies the professional is licensed within the state.

The professional has to set up the initial registration of both the patient and the animal. This means that a person can not simply register their dog, or even themselves. The professional answers yes to 5 questions, but does not have to disclose the diagnosis, but verifies it is an officially recognized diagnosis.

There will be more information about the animal available for public viewing then the person. The patient can allow some information to be made public, and add information for the animal (such as a unique contact telephone number in case the animal is lost). A photo of both is provided to assure to the public entity that the correct person is using the correct animal.

In turn, the patient does not have to try to explain that they have a disability and effectively disclose the disability by explaining how their support animal helps them only for the chance to be denied because the entity does not believe them.

What happens if the animal acts inappropriately?

A. As with current service/support animal conditions, the handler and animal can be dismissed from the establishment if the handler can’t control the animal. This law will not give rights beyond what one would expect.

Why can’t this be enforced on service animals?

A. Once the MHSA is established, there could be a voluntary registration for service animals, but service animals are defined by law, and not required to be in any database. Therefore, the state will not be allowed to require registration.

What of Interstate travel?

A. Interstate travel by aircraft is protected by federal law. However, once the animal leaves the state, they are then considered as Emotional Support Dogs, and will have such restrictions set by federal and state law. Therefore, leaving the state by Greyhound bus does not guarantee the patient and animal can come back by Greyhound Bus.

What if the Mental Health Support Animal dies or becomes too old/sick?

A. A new pet that will meet the requirements of the MHSA will have to be entered into the database. The former animal will be made inactive or in the event of death – removed. This will remain the previous animal will no longer function as an MHSA, and new ID/emblems will have to be established. As with the original registration, the health professional will have to add the new pet, and set any death status. The registration number will remain inactive for 5 years to assure that there is no confusion.

What function of the state will control this system?

A. Common Sense will dictate the state’s Health Department, but there is no restrictions on what department actually operates the system. People with some knowledge of mental health will be required to operate the telephones.