Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs6709416
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are now being abused by those who want to scam the device.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces and 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 your pet dog at a restaurant they don't believe is a "real" service dog, or others complain that their neighbors have a pet in the "no pet" building because they claimed your pet is emotional support animal.
A number of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
How does this affect those who legitimately own and make use of a service animal to raised their lives? In lots of ways.
For one, it may it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of your disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If a landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the machine, it can cause these phones look suspiciously whatsoever claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun seeking proof of status, despite the fact that asking for written or other evidence is not always legal, and even though many those who own legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have taken advantage of registering them, and therefore have no such documentation to make.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and business people that make registrations services like 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 once the owner can certainly produce a simple document that may often fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it's easier to hand over a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting one other party see the information, instead of having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, carry out some people scam the device, or game the law? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can try to take advantage of many systems that people as a society set up to protect the rights of those who need such protection. For example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to benefit from free and convenient parking. Not forgetting the number of folks who lie on their own 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, could well be a very small investment when compared to the higher goal of promoting access and equality for all.
In the end, you can not control any system to really make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the not enough 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.