Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs4523329
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are now being abused by those that want to scam the machine.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces as well as other editorials where people rant and complain about people they believe to be abusing the system. You hear some complain they had to sit near a dog at a restaurant which they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, varieties complain their neighbors use a pet inside a "no pet" building simply because they claimed the pet is emotional support animal.
A number of the commentary has an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
How can this affect those that legitimately own and employ a service animal to better their lives? In many ways.
For one, it may it more challenging to navigate bureaucracy on the planet when your claim of your disability along with your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If your landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that some people are abusing the system, it can cause them to look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun requesting proof of status, even though asking for written or any other evidence isn't necessarily legal, and although many those who own legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have taken advantage of registering them, and therefore have no such documentation to produce.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and companies that make registrations services such as the Service Animal Registry of California so fundamental to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it will also help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues if the owner can produce a simple document which will often match the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it's easier to give over a document using a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting one other party see the information, rather than having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering around the discussion.
So, perform some people scam the machine, or game the law? Sadly, the answer is "probably yes." In your life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can attempt to take advantage of many systems that individuals as a society set up 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 forgetting the number of people that lie on the tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse shop return policies, or do other bad acts.
But that percentage of abuse, which in service animal laws is hopefully small, is arguably a very small price to pay when compared to the higher objective of promoting access and equality for those.
In the end, you can't control any system to really make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few individuals who scam service animal laws is the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled within the great state of California have equal access under law.