Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs8276247
Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are being abused by people who want to scam the machine.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces along with other editorials where people rant and complain about people they believe to be abusing the device. You hear some complain that they had to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, or others complain their neighbors possess a pet in the "no pet" building simply because they claimed your pet is esa letter.
A few of the commentary posseses 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 raised their lives? In lots of ways.
For one, it could it harder to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of the disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If your landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that some people are abusing the machine, it can cause these to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun seeking proof of status, despite the fact that 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 therefore 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 if the owner can produce a simple document which will often fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it is usually easier to give a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting the other party browse the information, instead of having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering round the discussion.
So, do some people scam the machine, or game the law? 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 we as a society set up to protect the rights of people who need such protection. For example, 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 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, might just be a very small investment when compared to the higher goal of promoting access and equality for many.
In the end, you can not control any system to make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few people who scam service animal laws may be the price we gladly pay to make sure that the disabled in the great state of California have equal access under law.