Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs5676250
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly 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 feel to be abusing the system. You hear some complain that they had to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant which they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, varieties complain their neighbors have a pet in the "no pet" building because they claimed the animal is emotional support animal registration.
A few of the commentary has an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
How does this affect those that legitimately own and employ a service animal to higher their lives? In many ways.
For one, it could it harder to navigate bureaucracy on the planet when your claim of a disability along with your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If a landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that some individuals are abusing the device, it can cause these phones look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun requesting proof of status, despite the fact that asking for written or other evidence is not always legal, and although many owners of legitimate service animals and emotional support animals have not taken advantage of registering them, and so 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 important legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it will also help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues if the owner can create a simple document that will often fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it is usually easier to give a document using a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting the other party browse the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering round the discussion.
So, perform some people scam the system, or game the law? Sadly, the reply 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 we as a society put in place to protect the rights of those who need such protection. For example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to benefit from free and convenient parking. As well as the number of people who lie on their own 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, 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't control any system making it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few individuals who scam service animal laws will be the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled in the great state of California have equal access under law.