Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs1397886
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are now being abused by those 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 think to be abusing the system. You hear some complain that they to sit near your dog at a restaurant which they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, varieties complain that their neighbors possess a pet in the "no pet" building simply because they claimed the pet is emotional support animal.
Some of the commentary has an indignant tone, plus some people are downright angry.
How does this affect people who legitimately own and use a service animal to higher their lives? In lots of ways.
For one, it can it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of a 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 people are abusing the device, it can cause them to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and companies 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 so have no such documentation to make.
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 vital to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues when the owner can create a simple document which will often match the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it is usually easier to hand over a document using a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting the other party browse the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, argument) in public areas, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, do some people scam the system, or game regulations? Sadly, the answer is "probably yes." In your life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can make an effort to take advantage of many systems that we as a society set up to protect the rights of people who need such protection. For instance, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to benefit from free and convenient parking. Not to mention the number of people who lie on their own tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse retail store return policies, or do other bad acts.
However that percentage of abuse, which in service animal laws is hopefully small, might just be a very small investment when compared to the higher purpose of promoting access and equality for many.
In the end, you cannot control any system to really make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few individuals who scam service animal laws will be the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled in the great condition of California have equal access under law.