Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs803189
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are being abused by people 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 feel to be abusing the machine. You hear some complain that they 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 the neighbors use a pet in a "no pet" building simply because they claimed the animal is emotional support animal.
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 many ways.
For one, it can it more challenging to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of the disability as well as your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If a landlord or business proprietor has heard negative stories claiming that some individuals are abusing the system, it can cause them to look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun seeking proof of status, even though asking for written or another evidence isn't necessarily legal, and even though many people who just love legitimate service animals and emotional support animals haven't taken advantage of registering them, and so 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 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 satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it's easier to give a document using a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting the other party see the information, instead of having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public areas, with onlookers listening in and gathering round the discussion.
So, do some people scam the system, or game regulations? Sadly, the answer is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and people can attempt to take advantage of many systems that people as a society put in place to protect the rights of those that 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 that lie on their 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, might just be a very small investment when compared to the higher goal of promoting access and equality for all.
In the end, you can not 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 make sure that the disabled in the great condition of California have equal access under law.