Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs3826131
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are now being abused by people who want to scam the device.
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 that they had to sit near your dog at a restaurant that they don't believe is a "real" service dog, or others complain that the neighbors use a pet inside a "no pet" building simply because they claimed the pet is emotional support animal.
Some of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, plus some people are downright angry.
How can this affect people who legitimately own and use a service animal to higher their lives? In lots of ways.
For one, it may it harder to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of your disability as well as your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If a landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the device, it can cause them to look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun seeking proof of status, although asking for written or other evidence might not be legal, although many owners of legitimate service animals and emotional support animals have not taken advantage of registering them, and so have no such documentation to produce.
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 fundamental to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues if the owner can certainly produce a simple document that will often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it's easier to give over a document using a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting the other party browse the information, instead of having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering around the discussion.
So, carry out some people scam the machine, or game regulations? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and people can attempt to take advantage of many systems that we as a society applied 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 their tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse store return policies, or do other bad acts.
However that percentage of abuse, which in service animal laws is hopefully small, could well be a very small investment when compared to the higher goal 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 individuals 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.