Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs2951540
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by those that want to scam the machine.
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 a dog at a restaurant which they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, or others complain that their neighbors have a pet in the "no pet" building since they claimed the pet is how to ask doctor for emotional support animal.
A few of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, plus some people are downright angry.
How does this affect those who legitimately own and employ a service animal to raised their lives? In several ways.
For one, it may 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. If a landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that some people are abusing the system, it can cause them to look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun requesting proof of status, despite the fact that asking for written or other evidence is not always legal, and even though many people who just love legitimate service animals and emotional support animals have not taken advantage of registering them, and thus have no such documentation to make.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and companies that make registrations services such as the Service Animal Registry of California so important legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can benefit shortcut the housing rental and business access issues when the owner can produce a simple document which will often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it's easier to hand over a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting another party see the information, rather than having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering around the discussion.
So, do some people scam the system, or game regulations? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In your life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can try to take advantage of many systems that individuals as a society set up to protect the rights of people who 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 that lie on their 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, 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 to make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few people who scam service animal laws will be the price we gladly pay to make sure that the disabled in the great state of California have equal access under law.