Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs1123310
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are being abused by those 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 think to be abusing the system. You hear some complain that they had to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant which they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, or others complain that the neighbors possess a pet in the "no pet" building because they claimed the animal is esa letter.
A number of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
How can this affect people who legitimately own and use a service animal to better their lives? In many ways.
For one, it can it harder to navigate bureaucracy around the globe 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 device, it can cause these to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun requesting proof of status, even though asking for written or any other evidence isn't necessarily legal, and even though many people who just love legitimate service animals and emotional support animals haven't 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 companies that make registrations services such as 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 once the owner can create a simple document that may often match the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it's easier to give over a document having a simple sentence stating, "This can be a service animal" and letting the other party browse the information, instead of having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, carry out some people scam the device, or game regulations? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can attempt to take advantage of many systems that individuals as a society put in place 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 forgetting the number of people who 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 around 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 make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the not enough people who scam service animal laws is the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled within the great state of California have equal access under law.