Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs3811006
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 along with other editorials where people rant and complain about people they think to be abusing the device. You hear some complain that they had to sit near a dog at a restaurant that they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, varieties complain their neighbors use a pet in a "no pet" building simply because they claimed your pet is how to ask doctor for emotional support animal.
A number of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
How does this affect those who legitimately own and employ a service animal to better their lives? In several ways.
For one, it may it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of a disability along with your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If a landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the machine, it can cause these phones look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun requesting 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 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 owners that make registrations services just 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 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 give a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting another party read the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering round the discussion.
So, carry out some people scam the system, or game what the law states? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and people can attempt to take advantage of many systems that people as a society put in place to protect the rights of those that need such protection. For instance, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to take advantage of free and convenient parking. As well as the number of people that lie on their tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse retail store 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 investment when compared to the higher objective of promoting access and equality for all.
In the end, you can not control any system making it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few individuals who scam service animal laws may be the price we gladly pay to make sure that the disabled within the great condition of California have equal access under law.