Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs6688972
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are being abused by those that 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 system. You hear some complain they had to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant which they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, or others complain that their neighbors use a pet in a "no pet" building because they claimed the animal is emotional support animal.
A few of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, plus some people are downright angry.
How does this affect people who legitimately own and make use of a service animal to raised their lives? In lots of ways.
For one, it can it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy on the planet when your claim of a disability along with your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. In case 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 requesting proof of status, even though asking for written or another evidence is not always legal, and although many owners of legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have taken advantage of registering them, and thus have no such documentation to produce.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and companies that make registrations services like 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 once the owner can produce a simple document that will often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it is usually easier to give over a document with a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting one other party browse the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering around the discussion.
So, carry out some people scam the system, or game the law? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In everyday life, there is always room for abuse and people can make an effort 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 people who lie on their own tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse store return policies, or do other bad acts.
However that percentage of abuse, which in the area of service animal laws is hopefully small, is arguably a very small price to pay when compared to the higher purpose of promoting access and equality for many.
In the end, you can't control any system to really make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the not enough people who scam service animal laws is the price we gladly pay to ensure the disabled in the great state of California have equal access under law.