Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs1000054
Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are being abused by those that want to scam the system.
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 machine. You hear some complain that they had to sit near your dog at a restaurant they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, varieties complain that their neighbors possess a pet in a "no pet" building because they claimed the animal is esa letter.
Some of the commentary has an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
How can this affect those that legitimately own and make use of a service animal to better their lives? In lots of ways.
For one, it can it harder to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of your disability as well as your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If your landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that some individuals are abusing the device, it can cause these to look suspiciously whatsoever claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun seeking proof of status, despite the fact that asking for written or other evidence might not be legal, and even though many people who just love legitimate service animals and emotional support animals have not taken advantage of registering them, and so 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 create a simple document that will often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it's easier to give 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 worse, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, do some people scam the device, or game what the law states? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In everyday life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can attempt to take advantage of many systems that people as a society applied to protect the rights of people who need such protection. For instance, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to take advantage of free and convenient parking. As well as 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 those.
In the end, you can not control any system to really make 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 in the great state of California have equal access under law.