Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs106654
Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are now being abused by people who want to scam the system.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces as well as other editorials where people rant and complain about people they believe to be abusing the system. You hear some complain that they to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant which they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, or others complain that their neighbors have a pet in a "no pet" building because they claimed your pet is emotional support animal letter.
Some of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
How can this affect people who legitimately own and employ a service animal to better their lives? In several ways.
For one, it can it more challenging to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of a disability and 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 system, it can cause them to look suspiciously whatsoever claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun seeking proof of status, although asking for written or another evidence might not be legal, and although many people who just love legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have 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 just like the Service Animal Registry of California so vital to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can benefit shortcut the housing rental and business access issues if the owner can create a simple document that may often fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it is often easier to give over a document using a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting the other party see the information, rather than having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering around the discussion.
So, carry out some people scam the system, or game the law? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse the ones can attempt to take advantage of many systems that people as a society put in place to protect the rights of those who need such protection. As an 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 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 objective 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 will be the price we gladly pay to ensure the disabled within the great condition of California have equal access under law.