Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs8936381
Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by those that 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 they had to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant which they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, or others complain that the neighbors possess a pet in a "no pet" building simply because they claimed the pet is esa letter.
A number of the commentary has an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
How does this affect those that legitimately own and use a service animal to better their lives? In several ways.
For one, it could it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of a disability as well as your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. In case a landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that some individuals are abusing the machine, it can cause these phones look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun requesting proof of status, although asking for written or another evidence might not be legal, and even though many those who own legitimate service animals and emotional support animals have not taken advantage of registering them, and therefore have no such documentation to produce.
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 important legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it will also help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues when the owner can certainly produce a simple document which will often match the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it's easier to hand over a document using a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting the other party see the information, instead of having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering around the discussion.
So, carry out some people scam the device, or game what the law states? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In 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 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 their own tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse store return policies, or do other bad acts.
But that percentage of abuse, which in the area of service animal laws is hopefully small, is arguably a very small price to pay when compared to the higher goal 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 may be the price we gladly pay to make sure that the disabled inside the great condition of California have equal access under law.