Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs1121072
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by those who want to scam the machine.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces along with other editorials where people rant and complain about people they think to be abusing the machine. You hear some complain that they had to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant which they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, forms of languages complain that their neighbors have a pet in a "no pet" building simply because they claimed your pet is emotional support animal registration.
A few of the commentary has an indignant tone, plus some people are downright angry.
So how exactly does this affect people who legitimately own and employ a service animal to better their lives? In several ways.
For one, it can it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of a disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If a landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that some individuals are abusing the device, it can cause these to look suspiciously whatsoever claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun asking for proof of status, even though asking for written or another evidence is not always legal, and although many people who just love legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have taken advantage of registering them, and therefore have no such documentation to create.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and companies that make registrations services like the Service Animal Registry of California so fundamental to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues when the owner can produce a simple document which will often match the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it is usually easier to give over a document with a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting another party see the information, instead of having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, carry out some people scam the machine, or game what the law states? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In your life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can attempt to take advantage of many systems that people as a society set up to protect the rights of people who need such protection. For instance, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to benefit from free and convenient parking. Not forgetting the number of people who lie on their own tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse retail store return policies, or do other bad acts.
But that percentage of abuse, which around service animal laws is hopefully small, is arguably a very small investment when compared to the higher goal of promoting access and equality for those.
In the end, you can not control any system to really make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few people who scam service animal laws may be the price we gladly pay to make sure that the disabled in the great condition of California have equal access under law.