Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs3831270
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by those that want to scam the device.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces along with other editorials where people rant and complain about people they think to be abusing the device. You hear some complain they had to sit near your dog at a restaurant they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, varieties complain that their neighbors possess a pet in the "no pet" building simply because they claimed the animal is esa doctors.
Some of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
How does this affect people who legitimately own and make use of a service animal to better their lives? In several ways.
For one, it can it more challenging to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of a disability along with your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If your landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that some people are abusing the device, it can cause these phones look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun requesting proof of status, even though 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 haven't taken advantage of registering them, and thus have no such documentation to create.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and business owners that make registrations services such as 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 once the owner can create a simple document that will often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it is often easier to hand over a document with a simple sentence stating, "This can be a service animal" and letting one other party read the information, instead of having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering around the discussion.
So, carry out some people scam the system, or game regulations? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In 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 those who need such protection. For example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to benefit from free and convenient parking. Not to mention the number of people who lie on their own tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse shop return policies, or do other bad acts.
But that percentage of abuse, which around 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 many.
In the end, you cannot control any system to make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few individuals who scam service animal laws will be the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled within the great state of California have equal access under law.