Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs1300332
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly 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 believe to be abusing the system. You hear some complain that they to sit near your dog at a restaurant which they don't believe is a "real" service dog, forms of languages complain that the neighbors have a pet in the "no pet" building since they claimed the animal is esa letter.
Some of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
How can this affect those that legitimately own and make use of a service animal to higher their lives? In many ways.
For one, it may it more challenging to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of the disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If your landlord or company owner 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 asking for proof of status, although asking for written or any other 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 thus 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 can help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues once the owner can certainly produce a simple document that may often fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it's easier to give a document using a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting another party see the information, as opposed to 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 machine, or game what the law states? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can try to take advantage of many systems that we as a society put in place to protect the rights of those who 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 people that lie on their tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse retail 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 investment when compared to the higher purpose of promoting access and equality for all.
In the end, you can't control any system to make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few individuals who scam service animal laws is the price we gladly pay to ensure the disabled inside the great condition of California have equal access under law.