Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs1768319
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are 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 that they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, forms of languages complain that the neighbors possess a pet inside a "no pet" building because they claimed the pet is esa doctors.
A few of the commentary has an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
How does this affect people who legitimately own and use a service animal to better their lives? In several ways.
For one, it could it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of the disability and 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 system, it can cause these to look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun requesting proof of status, although asking for written or other evidence isn't necessarily legal, and even though many owners of legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have taken advantage of registering them, and thus 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 fundamental to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it will also help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues once the owner can create a simple document that may often match the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it is often easier to give a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting another party read 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, do some people scam the system, or game the law? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and people 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. As an example, 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 their own tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse shop return policies, or do other bad acts.
But that percentage of abuse, which in service animal laws is hopefully small, could well be a very small investment when compared to the higher goal of promoting access and equality for many.
In the end, you can't control any system to really make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few individuals who scam service animal laws is the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled in the great state of California have equal access under law.