Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs231909
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 as well as other editorials where people rant and complain about people they feel to be abusing the system. You hear some complain that they to sit near your dog at a restaurant that they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, or others complain their neighbors use a pet in the "no pet" building simply because they claimed your pet is how to ask doctor for emotional support animal.
Some of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, plus some people are downright angry.
How can this affect those that legitimately own and use a service animal to higher their lives? In several ways.
For one, it could it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy on the planet when your claim of your disability as well as your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. In case a landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the machine, it can cause these to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun requesting proof of status, although asking for written or other 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 create.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and business owners that make registrations services such as the Service Animal Registry of California so fundamental to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can benefit shortcut the housing rental and business access issues once the owner can produce a simple document which will often fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it's easier to hand over a document having a simple sentence stating, "This can be a service animal" and letting another party browse the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering around the discussion.
So, do some people scam the machine, or game what the law states? Sadly, the answer is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can attempt to take advantage of many systems that we as a society set up 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 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.
However 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 many.
In the end, you can not control any system making it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the not enough people who scam service animal laws is the price we gladly pay to make sure that the disabled within the great condition of California have equal access under law.