Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs8421705
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by those who want to scam the machine.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces along with other editorials where people rant and complain about people they feel to be abusing the device. You hear some complain they had to sit near your dog at a restaurant that they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, varieties complain their neighbors have a pet inside a "no pet" building simply because they claimed your pet is emotional support animal.
A few of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, plus some people are downright angry.
How can this affect those who legitimately own and make use of a service animal to better their lives? In many ways.
For one, it could it harder to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of your disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. In case a landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the device, it can cause these phones look suspiciously whatsoever claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun requesting proof of status, although asking for written or any other evidence is not always legal, and although many people who just love legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have 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 like the Service Animal Registry of California so fundamental to 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 which will often match the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it's easier to give a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting one other party browse 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, perform some people scam the machine, or game what the law states? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can attempt to take advantage of many systems that individuals as a society put in place to protect the rights of people 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 that lie on their own tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse store return policies, or do other bad acts.
But that percentage of abuse, which in service animal laws is hopefully small, could well be 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 making it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the not enough people who scam service animal laws is the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled within the great condition of California have equal access under law.