DOVER, Del. – Legislation has been introduced in Delaware’s General Assembly, recommending penalties for the misrepresentation of service animals under the Delaware Equal Accommodations Law and assistance animals under the Delaware Fair Housing Act.

Sponsored by Senator Dave Lawson (R- Marydel) and Representative Danny Short (R-Seaford), SB 219 aims to address the issue of false service and assistance animal classification, imposing penalties for those who falsely advertise their animals as such.

Under the proposed legislation, a first violation is a civil penalty of $500, and subsequent offenses are treated as unclassified misdemeanors.

Additionally, the act seeks to update terms, definitions and requirements for assistance animals under the Delaware Fair Housing Act to align with federal law. Corresponding changes will be made to the Residential Landlord-Tenant Code, along with technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.

SB 219 was introduced on Feb. 29 and awaits consideration in the Senate Banking, Business, Insurance, and Technology Committee.

By fersz