Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs255614
Sadly, some 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 device. You hear some complain they had to sit near your dog at a restaurant that they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, varieties complain that their neighbors have a pet in the "no pet" building because they claimed the pet is emotional support animal registration.
Some of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, plus some people are downright angry.
So how exactly does this affect those who legitimately own and make use of a service animal to raised their lives? In many ways.
For one, it can it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of a disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If your landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that some individuals are abusing the machine, it can cause them to look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun seeking proof of status, although asking for written or another evidence might not be legal, and even though 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 create.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and business people 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 once the owner can certainly produce a simple document that may often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it is often easier to hand over a document using a simple sentence stating, "This can be a service animal" and letting another party see the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public areas, with onlookers listening in and gathering around the discussion.
So, do some people scam the system, or game what the law states? Sadly, the answer is "probably yes." In your life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can make an effort to take advantage of many systems that people as a society set up to protect the rights of those 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 that 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 investment when compared to the higher purpose of promoting access and equality for many.
In the end, you can't control any system making 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 inside the great state of California have equal access under law.