Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs5877037
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are now being abused by people 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 feel to be abusing the machine. You hear some complain they had to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant that they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, or others complain their neighbors have a pet inside a "no pet" building simply because they claimed the pet is emotional support animal.
Some of the commentary has an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
How does this affect those that legitimately own and employ a service animal to higher their lives? In several ways.
For one, it could it harder 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 company owner has heard negative stories claiming that some people are abusing the system, it can cause them to look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun seeking proof of status, despite the fact that asking for written or any other evidence is not always legal, and although many people who just love legitimate service animals and emotional support animals haven't taken advantage of registering them, and thus have no such documentation to make.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and companies that make registrations services just like the Service Animal Registry of California so vital to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues if the owner can create a simple document which will often match the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it is usually easier to give over a document using a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting one other party browse the information, rather than having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, 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 individuals can attempt to take advantage of many systems that people as a society applied to protect the rights of people 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 folks who lie on their tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse shop return policies, or do other bad acts.
However that percentage of abuse, which in service animal laws is hopefully small, is arguably a very small price to pay when compared to the higher goal of promoting access and equality for all.
In the end, you can't control any system making it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few individuals who scam service animal laws will be the price we gladly pay to make sure that the disabled within the great condition of California have equal access under law.