Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs7089283
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by those 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 feel to be abusing the device. You hear some complain that they had to sit near a dog at a restaurant they don't believe is a "real" service dog, forms of languages complain their neighbors have a pet in a "no pet" building since they claimed your pet is emotional support animal.
A few of the commentary has an indignant tone, plus some people are downright angry.
So how exactly does this affect those that legitimately own and use a service animal to higher their lives? In several ways.
For one, it can it more challenging to navigate bureaucracy around the globe 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 individuals are abusing the system, it can cause these to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun asking for proof of status, even though asking for written or another evidence isn't necessarily legal, and even though 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 people that make registrations services like the Service Animal Registry of California so fundamental to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues once the owner can produce a simple document that will often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it is often easier to hand over a document having a simple sentence stating, "This can be a service animal" and letting one other party read the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, do some people scam the system, or game regulations? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In everyday life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can try to take advantage of many systems that people as a society put in place 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. 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.
However that percentage of abuse, which around service animal laws is hopefully small, might just be a very small price to pay when compared to the higher purpose of promoting access and equality for all.
In the end, you can not control any system to make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few people who scam service animal laws will be the price we gladly pay to ensure the disabled in the great state of California have equal access under law.