Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs3248004
Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are being abused by people who want to scam the machine.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces along with 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 dog at a restaurant which they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, forms of languages complain that their neighbors have a pet in a "no pet" building simply because they claimed the pet is esa letter.
Some of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
How can this affect those who legitimately own and make use of a service animal to better their lives? In lots of ways.
For one, it can it more challenging to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of your disability and 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 machine, it can cause these phones look suspiciously whatsoever claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun requesting proof of status, despite the fact that asking for written or other evidence isn't necessarily legal, although 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 create.
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 match the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it is usually easier to give over a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting one other party read the information, rather than having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, argument) in public areas, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, do some people scam the machine, or game regulations? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In everyday 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 people who need such protection. For example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to take advantage of free and convenient parking. Not to mention the number of people that 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 service animal laws is hopefully small, is arguably a very small investment when compared to the higher goal of promoting access and equality for many.
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 will be the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled in the great state of California have equal access under law.