Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs2719057
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by people 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 feel to be abusing the machine. You hear some complain they had to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant that they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, forms of languages complain their neighbors possess a pet inside a "no pet" building because they claimed your pet is emotional support animal.
A few of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
How can this affect people who legitimately own and use a service animal to better their lives? In several ways.
For one, it may it more challenging to navigate bureaucracy on the planet when your claim of your disability as well as your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. In case a 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 business owners have begun seeking proof of status, although asking for written or another evidence is not always legal, and even though many owners of legitimate service animals and emotional support animals haven't taken advantage of registering them, and thus have no such documentation to produce.
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 will also help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues when the owner can create a simple document that will often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it's easier to give over a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting the other party see the information, rather than having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, 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 then is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and people can try to take advantage of many systems that people as a society applied to protect the rights of people who need such protection. As an example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to take advantage of free and convenient parking. Not forgetting the number of folks 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 in service animal laws is hopefully small, is arguably a very small price to pay when compared to the higher objective of promoting access and equality for all.
In the end, you cannot control any system making it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few people who scam service animal laws is the price we gladly pay to ensure the disabled in the great condition of California have equal access under law.