Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs8147731
Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are being abused by people who want to scam the system.
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 system. You hear some complain they had to sit near your dog at a restaurant that they don't believe is a "real" service dog, forms of languages complain that their neighbors have a pet in a "no pet" building since they claimed the pet is emotional support animal registration.
A few of the commentary has an indignant tone, and 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 lots of ways.
For one, it could it harder to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of a disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If a landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that some individuals are abusing the machine, it can cause these to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun seeking proof of status, although asking for written or other evidence might not be legal, although many owners of 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 owners that make registrations services like the Service Animal Registry of California so vital 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 fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it's easier to hand over a document using a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting the other party browse the information, instead of having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering round the discussion.
So, do some people scam the machine, or game regulations? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In everyday life, there is always room for abuse the ones can make an effort to take advantage of many systems that individuals as a society applied to protect the rights of those who need such protection. For instance, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to benefit from free and convenient parking. Not to mention the number of people 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 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 not enough people who scam service animal laws will be the price we gladly pay to ensure the disabled in the great state of California have equal access under law.