New law aims to help service animals and owners

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – A new Michigan law is intended to help people with disabilities and their service dogs.

She’s more than just a furry friend.

“She, you know, helps me have a life,” said former Marine, Eric Calley said.

Sun, a black Doberman Pinscher, is a service dog helping Calley.

“I don’t go out without her,” Caller said. “She also not only helps me with not only nightmares, but anxiety, post-traumatic stress.”

But not everyone understands this bond. In 2014, a U.S. Airways flight attendant got angry at Calley when his dog put her paws on an empty seat.

“That was humiliating, you know, and if I wasn’t going to stand up, who would?” Calley said.

Calley’s story and others like it are turning heads.

Now the State of Michigan is helping educate people of the rights of individuals and their service animals, like Sun.

Eric Calley’s brother, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, spoke today about a new state law that will make life easier for people with service animals.

The law includes guaranteed access to businesses and other public spaces, no licensing fees and voluntary I.D. patches.

“It is our hope that this will raise awareness of those requirements and umm it’s not it’s not really about catching violators, it’s more about trying to just make the world more inclusive,” said Michigan Lt. Governor Brian Calley.

And inclusion is something Eric Calley wants to see.

“We have to keep changing to our society’s needs, and this is just one of those changes that is a foot in the right direction for our rights and for service dog rights,” Eric Calley said.

A step forward, one paw at a time.

The new law will go into effect on January 18.

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