Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs3703596
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are being abused by those that want to scam the machine.
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 device. You hear some complain that they had to sit near your dog at a restaurant which they don't believe is a "real" service dog, forms of languages complain that the neighbors use a pet in a "no pet" building since they claimed the animal is emotional support animal registration.
Some of the commentary has an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
How does this affect those 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 of the world when your claim of the disability as well as your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If a landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that some people are abusing the device, it can cause them to look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun seeking proof of status, even though asking for written or other evidence might not be legal, 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 create.
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 vital to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can benefit shortcut the housing rental and business access issues when the owner can produce a simple document which will often match the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it's easier to hand over a document having a simple sentence stating, "This can be a service animal" and letting another party see the information, rather than having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering round the discussion.
So, do some people scam the device, or game the law? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In everyday life, there is always room for abuse and people can make an effort to take advantage of many systems that we 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 to mention the number of people who lie on the tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse shop return policies, or do other bad acts.
However 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 those.
In the end, you cannot control any system making it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few individuals who scam service animal laws may be the price we gladly pay to ensure the disabled inside the great state of California have equal access under law.