Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs7821448
Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by those that want to scam the machine.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces along with other editorials where people rant and complain about people they think to be abusing the system. You hear some complain that they had to sit near a dog at a restaurant that they don't believe is a "real" service dog, or others complain their neighbors have a pet in a "no pet" building simply because they claimed the animal is emotional support animal.
Some of the commentary has 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 raised their lives? In lots of ways.
For one, it may it harder to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of the disability as well as your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If a landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the device, it can cause these to look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun seeking proof of status, even though 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 thus have no such documentation to make.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and companies that make registrations services just 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 which will often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it is usually easier to give a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting another party see the information, instead of having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, carry out some people scam the device, or game the law? Sadly, the answer is "probably yes." In everyday life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can try to take advantage of many systems that we as a society put in place to protect the rights of those who need such protection. As an example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to benefit from free and convenient parking. Not forgetting the number of people who lie on their own tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse shop return policies, or do other bad acts.
However that percentage of abuse, which around 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 all.
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 may be the price we gladly pay to ensure the disabled within the great state of California have equal access under law.