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My Town: Bill would protect veterans with service dogs on flights | Arts & Culture

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My Town: Bill would protect veterans with service dogs on flights
My Town: Bill would protect veterans with service dogs on flights

MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich.--- Legislation that would protect veterans who use service dogs is making its way through a Michigan committee.

Holly Hughes, who represents the Montague and Muskegon areas, introduced House Bill 4313 this week.  The measure would make it unlawful to refuse service to veterans who use service dogs as treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, closed head injuries and other service related conditions.  The bill would amend a current state law to specifically include veterans with service disabilities and add airplanes to the list of places that must accommodate service dogs.

Hughes proposed the changes after hearing the plight of veteran Eric Calley.  Hughes says Calley, who uses a service dog, was treated poorly on a recent flight.

“I want to make sure that Eric and others like him never have to endure similar treatment again,” said Hughes.

“To harass and even refuse service to these brave men and women because they are accompanied by a service dog, which has been proven to help alleviate the symptoms associated with PTSD and other service related conditions, is unconscionable.” 

Under HB 4313, service dogs would need to wear an identifiable service dog backpack, and their owners would be required to carry a picture ID certifying the dog was trained by a qualified organization or person.

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