Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs7053905
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by people who 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 machine. You hear some complain they had to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant that they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, or others complain that their neighbors have a pet in the "no pet" building since they claimed the pet is emotional support animal letter.
Some of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
How does this affect people who legitimately own and use a service animal to raised their lives? In many ways.
For one, it could it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of your disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. In case a landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that some people are abusing the system, it can cause them to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun requesting proof of status, despite the fact that asking for written or other evidence isn't necessarily legal, and although many people who just love legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have taken advantage of registering them, and so have no such documentation to produce.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and business owners 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 that may often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it's easier to hand over a document using a simple sentence stating, "This can be a service animal" and letting one other party see the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering around the discussion.
So, do some people scam the system, or game regulations? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In everyday life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can make an effort to take advantage of many systems that people 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. As well as the number of folks 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, might just be a very small investment when compared to the higher purpose of promoting access and equality for many.
In the end, you cannot control any system to really make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few people who scam service animal laws will be the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled within the great condition of California have equal access under law.