Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs3420189
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by those who want to scam the device.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces and other editorials where people rant and complain about people they feel to be abusing the device. You hear some complain that they had to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant they don't believe is a "real" service dog, forms of languages complain that the neighbors have a pet inside a "no pet" building since they claimed the animal is emotional support animal.
A few of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
How can this affect people who legitimately own and use 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. In case a landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that some people are abusing the device, it can cause these to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun requesting proof of status, despite the fact that asking for written or other evidence might not be legal, although many owners of legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have 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 companies that make registrations services just like the Service Animal Registry of California so vital to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues if the owner can produce a simple document which will often match the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it is usually easier to give a document using a simple sentence stating, "This can be a service animal" and letting one other party browse the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, argument) in public areas, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, carry out some people scam the system, or game what the law states? Sadly, the answer is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can make an effort to take advantage of many systems that we as a society applied to protect the rights of those who need such protection. For instance, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to take advantage of free and convenient parking. As well as the number of folks who lie on their own 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, could well be a very small price to pay when compared to the higher objective of promoting access and equality for those.
In the end, you cannot control any system making it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the not enough people who scam service animal laws will be the price we gladly pay to make sure that the disabled within the great condition of California have equal access under law.