Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs4083343
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by those 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 device. 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, forms of languages complain their neighbors use a pet in a "no pet" building simply because they claimed your pet is esa letter.
Some of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
So how exactly does this affect people who legitimately own and make use of a service animal to better their lives? In several ways.
For one, it could it harder to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of a disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If a landlord or business proprietor has heard negative stories claiming that some individuals are abusing the system, it can cause these to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun seeking proof of status, although asking for written or another evidence isn't necessarily legal, and although many those who own legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have 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 companies that make registrations services such as the Service Animal Registry of California so important 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 browse the information, instead of having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public areas, with onlookers listening in and gathering round the discussion.
So, do some people scam the system, or game regulations? Sadly, the answer is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and people can attempt to take advantage of many systems that we as a society applied to protect the rights of those who need such protection. As an example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to take advantage of free and convenient parking. Not to mention the number of folks who lie on their tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse retail store return policies, or do other bad acts.
But that percentage of abuse, which in 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 many.
In the end, you cannot control any system making it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the not enough people who scam service animal laws may be the price we gladly pay to ensure the disabled in the great state of California have equal access under law.