Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs1909361

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Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are now 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 think to be abusing the system. You hear some complain they had 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 have a pet in the "no pet" building since they claimed your pet is emotional support animal.

A number of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.

How does this affect people who legitimately own and employ a service animal to raised their lives? In lots of ways.

For one, it can it more difficult 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 business owner has heard negative stories claiming that some individuals are abusing the machine, it can cause these phones look suspiciously in any way claimants.

Some landlord and business owners have begun asking for proof of status, despite the fact that asking for written or any other evidence isn't necessarily legal, and although many owners of 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 business owners that make registrations services just 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 create a simple document that may often fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it is usually easier to give a document with a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting one other party see the information, rather than 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 everyday life, there is always room for abuse and people can make an effort to take advantage of many systems that people as a society put in place 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. As well as 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 the area of service animal laws is hopefully small, might just be a very small price to pay when compared to the higher purpose of promoting access and equality for those.

In the end, you cannot control any system to make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few people who scam service animal laws is the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled inside the great state of California have equal access under law.