Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs4678462
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by people who want to scam the machine.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces and other editorials where people rant and complain about people they think to be abusing the device. You hear some complain they had to sit near a dog at a restaurant that they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, varieties complain that their neighbors have a pet in a "no pet" building since they claimed the animal is how to ask doctor for emotional support animal.
A number of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
How can this affect people who legitimately own and use a service animal to better their lives? In lots of ways.
For one, it can it harder to navigate bureaucracy around the globe 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 many people are abusing the system, it can cause these phones look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun seeking proof of status, although asking for written or other evidence is not always legal, although many owners of legitimate service animals and emotional support animals have not 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 just like the Service Animal Registry of California so fundamental to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it will also help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues once the owner can produce a simple document that will often fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it's easier to give a document with a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting another party read the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public areas, with onlookers listening in and gathering round 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 the ones can try to take advantage of many systems that individuals as a society set up to protect the rights of those that need such protection. For instance, 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.
However that percentage of abuse, which around service animal laws is hopefully small, is arguably a very small price to pay when compared to the higher purpose of promoting access and equality for many.
In the end, you cannot control any system to really make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the not enough people who scam service animal laws may be the price we gladly pay to make sure that the disabled within the great state of California have equal access under law.