Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs2510520
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are 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 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, or others complain that the neighbors possess a pet in the "no pet" building because they claimed your pet is esa doctors.
A number of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
How can this affect those that legitimately own and employ a service animal to better their lives? In several ways.
For one, it can it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of the disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. In case a landlord or business proprietor has heard negative stories claiming that some individuals are abusing the system, it can cause these to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun requesting proof of status, even though asking for written or other evidence might not be legal, although many owners of legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have 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 business people that make registrations services just like the Service Animal Registry of California so important legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues if the owner can produce a simple document which will often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it is often easier to hand over a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting one other party browse 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, do some people scam the machine, or game what the law states? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In everyday life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can make an effort to take advantage of many systems that individuals as a society set up to protect the rights of those that need such protection. For example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to take advantage of free and convenient parking. As well as the number of people that lie on their 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 purpose of promoting access and equality for all.
In the end, you can not control any system making it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few individuals who scam service animal laws is the price we gladly pay to make sure that the disabled within the great state of California have equal access under law.