Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs4073548
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are being abused by those 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 think to be abusing the system. 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 because they claimed the pet is esa doctors.
Some of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, plus some people are downright angry.
How does this affect those that legitimately own and make use of a service animal to raised their lives? In many ways.
For one, it may it more challenging to navigate bureaucracy on the planet when your claim of your disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If a landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the system, it can cause these to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun requesting proof of status, despite the fact that asking for written or other evidence might not be legal, although many people who just love legitimate service animals and emotional support animals haven't 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 people that make registrations services just like the Service Animal Registry of California so important 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 fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it is often easier to give a document with a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting one other party see the information, instead of having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, do some people scam the machine, or game regulations? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In your life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can try to take advantage of many systems that people as a society put in place to protect the rights of those who need such protection. For instance, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to take advantage of free and convenient parking. Not to mention 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, could well be a very small investment when compared to the higher purpose of promoting access and equality for those.
In the end, you cannot control any system making it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few people who scam service animal laws may be the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled inside the great condition of California have equal access under law.