Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs6311222
Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are being abused by those that 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 a dog at a restaurant that they don't believe is a "real" service dog, varieties complain that their neighbors use a pet in a "no pet" building since they claimed the pet is emotional support animal registration.
A few of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
How does this affect those that legitimately own and employ a service animal to raised their lives? In lots of ways.
For one, it can it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of a disability as well as your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If your landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the device, it can cause them to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun requesting proof of status, even though asking for written or any other evidence isn't necessarily legal, and although many owners of legitimate service animals and emotional support animals haven't taken advantage of registering them, and thus have no such documentation to make.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and business owners that make registrations services like the Service Animal Registry of California so vital to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues when the owner can create a simple document that will often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it is often easier to give a document having a simple sentence stating, "This can be a service animal" and letting the other party read the information, instead of 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 reply is "probably yes." In your life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can try to take advantage of many systems that people as a society put in place to protect the rights of people who need such protection. For instance, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to benefit from free and convenient parking. Not to mention the number of people that lie on the tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse shop return policies, or do other bad acts.
However that percentage of abuse, which in service animal laws is hopefully small, might just be a very small price to pay when compared to the higher purpose of promoting access and equality for many.
In the end, you cannot control any system making it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few people who scam service animal laws will be the price we gladly pay to ensure the disabled within the great condition of California have equal access under law.