Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs7079729
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are now being abused by those that want to scam the device.
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 system. You hear some complain that they had to sit near a dog at a restaurant they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, forms of languages complain their neighbors have a pet in a "no pet" building because they claimed the pet is esa letter.
A few of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
How can this affect those that legitimately own and use a service animal to higher their lives? In several ways.
For one, it can it more challenging to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of your disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If a landlord or business proprietor has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the system, it can cause these phones look suspiciously whatsoever claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun seeking proof of status, even though 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 haven't taken advantage of registering them, and therefore 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 help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues if the owner can produce a simple document that will often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it is often easier to give a document having a simple sentence stating, "This can be a service animal" and letting one other party read the information, rather than having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, argument) in public areas, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, do some people scam the device, or game the law? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In everyday life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can attempt to take advantage of many systems that we as a society applied to protect the rights of those that need such protection. As an example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to take advantage of free and convenient parking. Not forgetting 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.
But that percentage of abuse, which in service animal laws is hopefully small, could well be a very small price to pay when compared to the higher goal of promoting access and equality for those.
In the end, you cannot control any system to really make 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 inside the great state of California have equal access under law.