Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs239225
Sadly, many 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 as well as 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, or others complain their neighbors use a pet in a "no pet" building since they claimed the pet is esa doctors.
Some of the commentary has an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
So how exactly does this affect people who legitimately own and employ a service animal to better their lives? In many ways.
For one, it may it harder to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of your disability along with your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If a landlord or business proprietor has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the system, 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 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 produce.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and companies that make registrations services like the Service Animal Registry of California so important 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 that may often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it is usually easier to hand over a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting the other party browse the information, rather than having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering around the discussion.
So, carry out some people scam the system, or game regulations? Sadly, the answer is "probably yes." In everyday life, there is always room for abuse the ones can try to take advantage of many systems that people as a society set up 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 to mention the number of people who lie on the tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse shop return policies, or do other bad acts.
But that percentage of abuse, which in the area of service animal laws is hopefully small, is arguably a very small price to pay when compared to the higher goal of promoting access and equality for many.
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 is the price we gladly pay to make sure that the disabled inside the great condition of California have equal access under law.