Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs5781902
Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are now being abused by those who want to scam the machine.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces as well as 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 your dog at a restaurant they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, varieties complain that the neighbors use a pet inside a "no pet" building simply because they claimed the pet is esa letter.
Some of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, plus some people are downright angry.
How does this affect those that legitimately own and use a service animal to better their lives? In lots of ways.
For one, it can it harder to navigate bureaucracy on the planet 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 people are abusing the device, it can cause these phones look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun requesting proof of status, although asking for written or other evidence isn't necessarily legal, and although many those who own legitimate service animals and emotional support animals haven't taken advantage of registering them, and so have no such documentation to produce.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and business owners that make registrations services such as the Service Animal Registry of California so fundamental to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can benefit shortcut the housing rental and business access issues if the owner can produce a simple document that may often match the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it is often easier to give a document using a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting another party browse 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, do some people scam the machine, or game what the law states? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In everyday life, there is always room for abuse the ones can attempt to take advantage of many systems that we as a society set up 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 folks who lie on their 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, might just be 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 to really 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.