Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs7803241
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by people who want to scam the device.
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 your dog at a restaurant which they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, forms of languages complain their neighbors have a pet inside a "no pet" building simply because they claimed the pet is emotional support animal.
A few of the commentary has an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
So how exactly does this affect those who legitimately own and make use of a service animal to better their lives? In lots of ways.
For one, it can it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of the disability along with your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If your landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that some individuals are abusing the system, it can cause them to look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun asking for proof of status, although asking for written or other evidence might not be legal, and although many owners of 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 companies that make registrations services like the Service Animal Registry of California so fundamental to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues if the owner can create a simple document that will often match 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 see the information, instead of having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public areas, with onlookers listening in and gathering around the discussion.
So, do some people scam the system, or game the law? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In your life, there is always room for abuse the ones can make an effort to take advantage of many systems that individuals as a society put in place 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 that lie on the tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse retail store return policies, or do other bad acts.
But that percentage of abuse, which in 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 all.
In the end, you cannot control any system making it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the not enough people who scam service animal laws will be the price we gladly pay to make sure that the disabled inside the great condition of California have equal access under law.