Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs659740
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by those who 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 feel to be abusing the machine. You hear some complain they had to sit near a dog at a restaurant that they don't believe is a "real" service dog, forms of languages complain their neighbors have a pet inside a "no pet" building since they claimed the animal is emotional support animal.
A few of the commentary has an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
How does this affect those that legitimately own and employ a service animal to higher their lives? In several ways.
For one, it can it harder to navigate bureaucracy on the planet when your claim of the disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If your landlord or business proprietor has heard negative stories claiming that some individuals are abusing the system, it can cause these to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun asking for proof of status, despite the fact that asking for written or another evidence is not always legal, and although many those who own legitimate service animals and emotional support animals have not taken advantage of registering them, and therefore have no such documentation to make.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and companies 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 certainly produce a simple document that may often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it is usually easier to hand over a document with a simple sentence stating, "This can be a service animal" and letting the other party browse the information, instead of having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, argument) in public areas, with onlookers listening in and gathering around the discussion.
So, do some people scam the system, or game what the law states? Sadly, the answer is "probably yes." In your life, there is always room for abuse the ones can try to take advantage of many systems that we as a society set up to protect the rights of people who need such protection. For instance, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to take advantage of free and convenient parking. Not to mention the number of folks who lie on their tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse store 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 price to pay when compared to the higher objective of promoting access and equality for those.
In the end, you can not control any system to really 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 state of California have equal access under law.