Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs7469763
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are being abused by those who want to scam the machine.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces and other editorials where people rant and complain about people they think to be abusing the device. You hear some complain they had to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, or others complain that the neighbors use a pet in a "no pet" building since they claimed the pet is esa doctors.
Some of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
How does this affect people who legitimately own and make use of a service animal to better their lives? In several ways.
For one, it can it harder to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of the 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 device, it can cause them to look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun asking for proof of status, even though asking for written or another evidence isn't necessarily legal, and even though many owners of legitimate service animals and emotional support animals have not taken advantage of registering them, and therefore have no such documentation to produce.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and business owners that make registrations services such as the Service Animal Registry of California so important legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can benefit shortcut the housing rental and business access issues once the owner can create a simple document which will often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it is usually easier to give over a document with a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting one other party browse the information, instead of having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, argument) in public areas, with onlookers listening in and gathering round the discussion.
So, do some people scam the system, or game the law? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse the ones can attempt to take advantage of many systems that individuals as a society set up to protect the rights of those who need such protection. For example, 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 shop return policies, or do other bad acts.
However that percentage of abuse, which in the area of 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't control any system to really make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few individuals who scam service animal laws is the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled in the great state of California have equal access under law.