Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs9771238
Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are now being abused by those that want to scam the machine.
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 system. You hear some complain that they to sit near a dog at a restaurant which they don't believe is a "real" service dog, or others complain that their neighbors use a pet in a "no pet" building because they claimed the animal is emotional support animal.
Some of the commentary has an indignant tone, and some 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 lots of ways.
For one, it may it harder to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of your disability along with your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If your landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that some individuals are abusing the device, it can cause them to look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun requesting proof of status, although asking for written or any other evidence is not always legal, and even though many those who own legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have 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 people that make registrations services like the Service Animal Registry of California so fundamental to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it will also help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues if the owner can certainly produce a simple document that may often fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it is often easier to give over a document having a simple sentence stating, "This can be a service animal" and letting another party see the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, do 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 the ones can make an effort to take advantage of many systems that we as a society set up 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 who lie on the tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse retail store return policies, or do other bad acts.
However 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 objective of promoting access and equality for all.
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.