Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs1306625
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly 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 machine. You hear some complain that they had to sit near your dog at a restaurant they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, or others complain their neighbors possess a pet in the "no pet" building since they claimed your pet is how to ask doctor for emotional support animal.
Some of the commentary posseses 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 many ways.
For one, it may it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of the disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. In case a landlord or business proprietor has heard negative stories claiming that some individuals are abusing the device, it can cause them to look suspiciously whatsoever claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun requesting proof of status, even though asking for written or any other evidence might not be legal, and even though many people who just love legitimate service animals and emotional support animals haven't taken advantage of registering them, and therefore have no such documentation to create.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and business people that make registrations services just like the Service Animal Registry of California so vital to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can benefit shortcut the housing rental and business access issues when the owner can certainly produce a simple document which will often match the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it is often easier to hand over a document with a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting the other party see the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, argument) in public places, 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 attempt 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 take advantage of free and convenient parking. Not to mention the number of people that lie on the 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, is arguably a very small price to pay when compared to the higher purpose of promoting access and equality for all.
In the end, you cannot control any system to make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the not enough people who scam service animal laws is the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled inside the great state of California have equal access under law.