Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs5739328
Sadly, many 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 and other editorials where people rant and complain about people they believe to be abusing the system. You hear some complain that they to sit near your dog at a restaurant they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, varieties complain that the neighbors use a pet in the "no pet" building since they claimed the pet is emotional support animal registration.
A few of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
How can this affect those that legitimately own and employ a service animal to higher their lives? In many ways.
For one, it can it harder to navigate bureaucracy on the planet when your claim of your disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If your landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the system, it can cause these phones look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun requesting proof of status, although asking for written or other evidence might not be legal, although many people who just love legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have taken advantage of registering them, and therefore 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 fundamental to 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 which will often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it is usually easier to hand over a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting the other party read the information, instead of having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering around 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 individuals as a society put in place to protect the rights of those that need such protection. For example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to benefit from free and convenient parking. As well as 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 price to pay when compared to the higher goal of promoting access and equality for those.
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 will be the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled within the great condition of California have equal access under law.