Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs8117371
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are now being abused by people 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 feel to be abusing the system. You hear some complain that they to sit near your dog at a restaurant they don't believe is a "real" service dog, forms of languages complain that their neighbors have a pet inside a "no pet" building since they claimed the animal is emotional support animal letter.
Some of the commentary has an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
So how exactly does this affect those who legitimately own and use a service animal to better their lives? In several ways.
For one, it may it harder to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of a disability along with your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. In case a landlord or business proprietor has heard negative stories claiming that some individuals are abusing the machine, it can cause these to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun seeking proof of status, despite the fact that asking for written or any other evidence is not always legal, although many people who just love legitimate service animals and emotional support animals haven't 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 business people that make registrations services 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 once the owner can create a simple document that will often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it is often easier to hand over a document using a simple sentence stating, "This can be a service animal" and letting another party read the information, instead of having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, perform some people scam the machine, or game the law? 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 people as a society applied to protect the rights of those that need such protection. For example, 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 shop return policies, or do other bad acts.
But that percentage of abuse, which around service animal laws is hopefully small, is arguably 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 really 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.