Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs3096325
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly 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 believe to be abusing the machine. 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, forms of languages complain that their neighbors use a pet in the "no pet" building since they claimed the animal is emotional support animal.
A few of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
How can this affect people who legitimately own and make use of a service animal to better their lives? In several ways.
For one, it can it harder to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of your disability along with your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. In case a landlord or business proprietor has heard negative stories claiming that some people are abusing the device, it can cause them to look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun asking for proof of status, despite the fact that asking for written or other evidence is not always legal, and even though many those who own legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have taken advantage of registering them, and so have no such documentation to produce.
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 important legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it will also help 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 over a document using a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting another party see the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering around the discussion.
So, perform some people scam the device, or game the law? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In everyday life, there is always room for abuse and people can try to take advantage of many systems that individuals as a society applied to protect the rights of people who 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 folks 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 the area of service animal laws is hopefully small, might just be a very small investment when compared to the higher objective of promoting access and equality for many.
In the end, you can't 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 that the disabled inside the great state of California have equal access under law.