Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs1972560
Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are being abused by people who want to scam the system.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces and other editorials where people rant and complain about people they believe to be abusing the device. You hear some complain they had to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, or others complain their neighbors possess a pet inside a "no pet" building because they claimed the pet is emotional support animal letter.
A few of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
How does this affect people who legitimately own and employ a service animal to better their lives? In lots of ways.
For one, it may it more challenging to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of the disability as well as your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. In case a landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that some individuals are abusing the system, it can cause these to look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun requesting proof of status, despite the fact that asking for written or another evidence isn't necessarily legal, and although many those who own legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have 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 business owners that make registrations services just like the Service Animal Registry of California so vital to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues if the owner can produce a simple document that may often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it is often easier to give a document using a simple sentence stating, "This can be a service animal" and letting the other party see the information, instead of having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering around the discussion.
So, perform some people scam the device, or game what the law states? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse the ones can make an effort to take advantage of many systems that individuals as a society applied to protect the rights of those who need such protection. For instance, 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 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 investment when compared to the higher purpose of promoting access and equality for all.
In the end, you can not control any system making it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few individuals who scam service animal laws is the price we gladly pay to make sure that the disabled within the great state of California have equal access under law.