Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs3015702
Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by those who want to scam the device.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces along with other editorials where people rant and complain about people they feel to be abusing the system. You hear some complain they had to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant which they don't believe is a "real" service dog, varieties complain their neighbors have a pet in the "no pet" building since they claimed your pet is emotional support animal registration.
A few of the commentary has an indignant tone, plus some people are downright angry.
How does this affect people who legitimately own and employ a service animal to better their lives? In several ways.
For one, it could it harder to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of your disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If your landlord or business proprietor has heard negative stories claiming that some individuals are abusing the machine, it can cause these to look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun requesting proof of status, despite the fact that asking for written or another evidence is not always legal, and even though many owners of legitimate service animals and emotional support animals haven't taken advantage of registering them, and thus 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 vital to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it will also help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues once the owner can produce a simple document which will often match the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it's easier to hand over a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting another party read the information, rather than having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering around the discussion.
So, carry out some people scam the system, or game the law? Sadly, the answer is "probably yes." In everyday life, there is always room for abuse and people can try to take advantage of many systems that individuals as a society put in place to protect the rights of people who need such protection. For example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to take advantage of free and convenient parking. Not to mention the number of people who lie on their own tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse shop return policies, or do other bad acts.
But that percentage of abuse, which in the area of service animal laws is hopefully small, might just be a very small investment 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 not enough people who scam service animal laws may be the price we gladly pay to ensure the disabled in the great condition of California have equal access under law.