Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs4931870
Sadly, some people 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 as well as other editorials where people rant and complain about people they believe to be abusing the machine. You hear some complain that they to sit near a dog at a restaurant that they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, or others complain that their neighbors use a pet inside a "no pet" building because they claimed the pet 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 raised their lives? In several ways.
For one, it may it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of your disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If a landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the system, it can cause these to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun asking for proof of status, although asking for written or other evidence isn't necessarily legal, although many owners of legitimate service animals and emotional support animals haven't taken advantage of registering them, and therefore have no such documentation to create.
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 important legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues once the owner can create a simple document which will often match the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it's easier to give a document using a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting the other party browse the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public areas, with onlookers listening in and gathering around the discussion.
So, do some people scam the system, or game the law? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In your life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can try to take advantage of many systems that individuals as a society applied to protect the rights of people who need such protection. For instance, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to take advantage of free and convenient parking. Not forgetting the number of people that lie on their own tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse retail store return policies, or do other bad acts.
But that percentage of abuse, which around service animal laws is hopefully small, might just be a very small investment when compared to the higher objective 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 not enough people who scam service animal laws will be the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled inside the great condition of California have equal access under law.