Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs2477381
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are now being abused by those who want to scam the system.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces along with other editorials where people rant and complain about people they believe to be abusing the device. You hear some complain they had to sit near a dog at a restaurant they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, or others complain that their neighbors use a pet in the "no pet" building since they claimed the pet is emotional support animal.
A few of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
How does this affect those that legitimately own and make use of a service animal to better their lives? In many ways.
For one, it can it more challenging to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of the disability along with your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. In case a landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that some individuals are abusing the machine, 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 other evidence isn't necessarily legal, and even though many people who just love legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have taken advantage of registering them, and so have no such documentation to make.
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 vital to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can benefit shortcut the housing rental and business access issues if the owner can produce a simple document that will often match the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it is often easier to give a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting another party read the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering round the discussion.
So, carry out some people scam the system, or game the law? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and people can try to take advantage of many systems that we as a society applied to protect the rights of those that need such protection. As an example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to benefit from free and convenient parking. Not to mention the number of folks who lie on their own tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse retail store 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 investment when compared to the higher purpose of promoting access and equality for all.
In the end, you cannot control any system to make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few people who scam service animal laws is the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled in the great condition of California have equal access under law.