Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs7895657
Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by those that want to scam the device.
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 that they to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant they don't believe is a "real" service dog, or others complain that the neighbors have a pet in the "no pet" building because they claimed your pet is emotional support animal registration.
A number of the commentary has an indignant tone, plus some people are downright angry.
So how exactly does this affect those who legitimately own and make use of a service animal to better their lives? In several ways.
For one, it may it harder to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of a disability as well as your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. In case a landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the device, it can cause these to look suspiciously whatsoever claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun asking for proof of status, despite the fact that asking for written or any other evidence might not be 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 make.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and business people that make registrations services 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 when the owner can create a simple document that will often fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it is usually easier to give over a document with a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting another 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 around the discussion.
So, carry out some people scam the device, or game the law? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can try to take advantage of many systems that people as a society applied to protect the rights of people who need such protection. As an example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to take advantage of free and convenient parking. As well as the number of people who lie on their tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse shop 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 price to pay when compared to the higher goal of promoting access and equality for all.
In the end, you can not control any system to make 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 inside the great state of California have equal access under law.