Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs5844258
Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly 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 believe to be abusing the system. You hear some complain they had to sit near a dog at a restaurant which they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, or others complain that their neighbors have a pet in a "no pet" building simply because they claimed the animal is emotional support animal letter.
A number of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, plus some people are downright angry.
So how exactly does this affect those that legitimately own and make use of a service animal to better their lives? In many ways.
For one, it can it more challenging to navigate bureaucracy on the planet when your claim of a 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 in any way claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun asking for proof of status, despite the fact that asking for written or another evidence isn't necessarily legal, and although many owners of legitimate service animals and emotional support animals haven't taken advantage of registering them, and therefore have no such documentation to create.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and business people that make registrations services just like the Service Animal Registry of California so important legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can benefit shortcut the housing rental and business access issues if the owner can produce a simple document that will often fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it is often easier to give over a document having a simple sentence stating, "This can be a service animal" and letting one other party read the information, instead of having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, perform some people scam the system, or game the law? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In everyday life, there is always room for abuse and people can try to take advantage of many systems that we as a society applied to protect the rights of those that need such protection. As an example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to take advantage of free and convenient parking. Not to mention the number of people who lie on the tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse store return policies, or do other bad acts.
However that percentage of abuse, which around 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 many.
In the end, you can't control any system making 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.