Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs9806676
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are being abused by those that 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 system. You hear some complain that they to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant that they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, or others complain that their neighbors possess a pet inside a "no pet" building simply because they claimed the pet is how to ask doctor for emotional support animal.
A number of the commentary has an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
How can this affect those that legitimately own and use a service animal to better their lives? In many ways.
For one, it could it harder 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 company owner has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the device, it can cause these phones look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun seeking proof of status, even though asking for written or any other evidence might not be legal, and even though many owners of legitimate service animals and emotional support animals have not taken advantage of registering them, and thus have no such documentation to produce.
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 once the owner can produce a simple document that may often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it is often easier to hand over 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 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 life, there is always room for abuse and people can try to take advantage of many systems that people as a society set up to protect the rights of those that need such protection. As an example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to benefit from free and convenient parking. Not to mention the number of folks who lie on their tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse store return policies, or do other bad acts.
However that percentage of abuse, which in the area of service animal laws is hopefully small, is arguably a very small price to pay when compared to the higher purpose of promoting access and equality for all.
In the end, you cannot control any system to really make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few individuals who scam service animal laws may be the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled within the great condition of California have equal access under law.