Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs2112086
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are being abused by those who want to scam the system.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces and other editorials where people rant and complain about people they believe to be abusing the device. You hear some complain that they had to sit near a dog at a restaurant that they don't believe is a "real" service dog, forms of languages complain that their neighbors use a pet in a "no pet" building since they claimed the pet is esa letter.
Some of the commentary has an indignant tone, plus some people are downright angry.
How can this affect those that legitimately own and make use of a service animal to higher their lives? In many ways.
For one, it may it harder to navigate bureaucracy on the planet when your claim of a disability along with 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 machine, it can cause them to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun asking for proof of status, even though asking for written or another evidence isn't necessarily legal, 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 make.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and business people that make registrations services just like the Service Animal Registry of California so important legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can benefit shortcut the housing rental and business access issues if the owner can create a simple document which will often match the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it is usually easier to hand over a document using a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting the other party browse the information, rather than having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, do some people scam the device, or game regulations? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In your life, there is always room for abuse and people can make an effort to take advantage of many systems that we as a society set up to protect the rights of those who need such protection. For example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to benefit from free and convenient parking. Not to mention the number of people who lie on their tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse shop return policies, or do other bad acts.
However that percentage of abuse, which around service animal laws is hopefully small, could well be a very small price to pay when compared to the higher objective of promoting access and equality for many.
In the end, you cannot control any system to make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few individuals who scam service animal laws will be the price we gladly pay to make sure that the disabled inside the great condition of California have equal access under law.