Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs5113729
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by those who 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 device. You hear some complain that they to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant that they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, or others complain that their neighbors have a pet in the "no pet" building simply because they claimed the animal is how to ask doctor for emotional support animal.
A few of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
How can this affect those that legitimately own and use a service animal to better their lives? In several ways.
For one, it could it more challenging to navigate bureaucracy around the globe 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 many people are abusing the system, it can cause these to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun seeking proof of status, despite the fact that asking for written or any other evidence might not be legal, and although many those who own legitimate service animals and emotional support animals have not 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 companies that make registrations services such as the Service Animal Registry of California so important legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it will also help 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 working with public spaces, it is often easier to give a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting one other party see the information, rather than having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public areas, with onlookers listening in and gathering round the discussion.
So, do some people scam the device, or game regulations? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse the ones can try to take advantage of many systems that we as a society applied 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 the 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, is arguably a very small investment when compared to the higher objective of promoting access and equality for many.
In the end, you can't control any system to make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few individuals who scam service animal laws may be the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled in the great condition of California have equal access under law.