Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs1095188
Sadly, some 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 along with other editorials where people rant and complain about people they believe to be abusing the machine. You hear some complain that they to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant that they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, or others complain that their neighbors have a pet in the "no pet" building because they claimed your pet is esa letter.
A number of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
How can this affect those who legitimately own and make use of a service animal to better their lives? In several ways.
For one, it may it harder to navigate bureaucracy on the planet when your claim of a disability along with 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 machine, it can cause them to look suspiciously whatsoever claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun seeking proof of status, although asking for written or any other evidence might not be legal, and although many people who just love 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 owners that make registrations services such as 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 when the owner can create a simple document that may often match the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it is usually easier to give a document with a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting one other party see 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 machine, or game the law? Sadly, the answer is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and individuals 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. As an example, 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 the tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse 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 investment when compared to the higher purpose of promoting access and equality for many.
In the end, you can not control any system making 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.