New service animal laws enabling better training for pets in Michigan

Pets make the best companions. And for some, they're life-saving partners for those that need an extra set of paws just in case.

"Dogs always become a member of the family, but this dog is really special because she is a member of the family and someone who watches out for us," said Jim Moore.

Moore got his dog Maggie because of a series of strokes that occurred a while back. So far, she hasn't needed to use her training. 

She's also one of the last animals that will be trained under Michigan's former service dog training laws. Her trainer Michael Burkey said a new law governing service dog training will go a long ways.

"We want to be able to train the dog in the real world, so they know how they respond so that way when the person with a disability gets the dog, they’re able to maneuver those accommodations with their dog without any trouble and with ease," he said.

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The new law allows service dogs in training to enter public spaces. Before, an owner could only bring a fully-trained service animal into spaces like grocery stores and banks. 

Signed into law last year, it allows those pets that are still training to enter the same facilities, like restaurants, grocery stores, and banks.

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The pet may be excluded from accessing a public space if their presence interferes with "legitimate safety requirements" in that facility, the law said.