Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs6109761
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are now 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 that they had to sit near a dog at a restaurant that they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, varieties complain their neighbors have a pet in a "no pet" building since they claimed the pet is emotional support animal letter.
Some of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, plus some people are downright angry.
How does this affect people who legitimately own and make use of a service animal to better their lives? In lots of ways.
For one, it may it harder to navigate bureaucracy around the globe 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 people are abusing the machine, it can cause them to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun requesting proof of status, although asking for written or other evidence isn't necessarily legal, and even though 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 certainly produce a simple document that will often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it is usually easier to give a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting another party browse the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, perform some people scam the device, or game regulations? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In your 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 forgetting the number of people that lie on the tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse shop 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 purpose 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 may be the price we gladly pay to ensure the disabled inside the great state of California have equal access under law.