California Health & Safety Code > Health & Saf. Code §122318. Health Care Practitioner Criteria for Emotional Support Dog Documentation
*New statutes and amendments effective January 1, 2023 are shown in bold, underline italics. [ ] indicates an amendment of deleted text only.
(a) A health care practitioner shall not provide documentation relating to an individual’s need for an emotional support dog unless the health care practitioner complies with all of the following criteria:
(1) Possesses a valid, active license and includes the effective date, license number, jurisdiction, and type of professional license in the documentation.
(2) Is licensed to provide professional services within the scope of the license in the jurisdiction in which the documentation is provided.
(3) (A) Except as specified in subparagraph (B), establishes a client-provider relationship with the individual for at least 30 days prior to providing the documentation requested regarding the individual’s need for an emotional support dog.
(B) A client-provider relationship with the individual of 30 days or more shall not be required for individuals who are verified to be homeless. Homeless status may be verified by any of the following:
(I) Identification through the local Homeless Management Information System, as defined in Section 578.3 of Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(II) Via a continuum of care, as defined in Section 578.3 of Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations, or a homeless services provider that is contracting with a continuum of care.
(III) Visual confirmation by a homeless services provider of individuals dwelling in a homeless shelter, homeless encampment, outdoor makeshift shelter, or vehicle.
(4) Completes a clinical evaluation of the individual regarding the need for an emotional support dog.
(5) Provides a verbal or written notice to the individual that knowingly and fraudulently representing oneself to be the owner or trainer of any canine licensed as, to be qualified as, or identified as, a guide, signal, or service dog is a misdemeanor violation of Section 365.7 of the Penal Code.
(b) For purposes of this section, “health care practitioner” means a person who is licensed and regulated pursuant to Division 2 (commencing with Section 500) of the Business and Professions Code, who is acting within the scope of practice of the person’s license or certificate.
(c) A health care practitioner may be subject to discipline from the health care practitioner’s licensing board for a violation of this section.