Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs8801571
Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by people who want to scam the system.
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 system. You hear some complain that they to sit near a dog at a restaurant they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, forms of languages complain that their neighbors use a pet inside a "no pet" building since they claimed the pet is esa letter.
A few of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
So how exactly does this affect those who legitimately own and use a service animal to better their lives? In lots of ways.
For one, it may it more challenging to navigate bureaucracy on the planet when your claim of the disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If a landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the system, it can cause these to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun asking for 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 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 when the owner can certainly produce a simple document which will often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it is usually easier to hand over a document having a simple sentence stating, "This can be a service animal" and letting one other party browse the information, instead of having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, do some people scam the system, or game the law? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In your life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can try to take advantage of many systems that we as a society put in place 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 forgetting the number of folks 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 service animal laws is hopefully small, is arguably a very small price to pay when compared to the higher objective of promoting access and equality for those.
In the end, you cannot control any system making it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few people who scam service animal laws is the price we gladly pay to make sure that the disabled in the great state of California have equal access under law.