Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs9524303
Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are now being abused by people 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 feel to be abusing the system. You hear some complain that they had to sit near your dog at a restaurant that they don't believe is a "real" service dog, or others complain that their neighbors possess a pet in the "no pet" building because they claimed the animal is emotional support animal.
A number of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, plus some people are downright angry.
How can this affect those who legitimately own and employ a service animal to better their lives? In lots of ways.
For one, it may it more challenging to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of your 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 people are abusing the system, it can cause them to look suspiciously whatsoever claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun asking for proof of status, although asking for written or any other evidence isn't necessarily legal, although many those who own legitimate service animals and emotional support animals have not taken advantage of registering them, and thus have no such documentation to produce.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and business people that make registrations services just like the Service Animal Registry of California so important 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 which will often fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it is usually easier to give over a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting another party read the information, instead of having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering around the discussion.
So, do some people scam the machine, or game what the law states? Sadly, the answer is "probably yes." In everyday life, there is always room for abuse the ones can try to take advantage of many systems that we as a society put in place to protect the rights of those that need such protection. For example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to take advantage of free and convenient parking. As well as the number of people who lie on their tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse shop return policies, or do other bad acts.
But 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 purpose of promoting access and equality for those.
In the end, you can't control any system to make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the not enough people who scam service animal laws may be the price we gladly pay to ensure the disabled inside the great state of California have equal access under law.