Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs4541354
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by those who want to scam the system.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces and other editorials where people rant and complain about people they think to be abusing the machine. You hear some complain that they had to sit near a dog at a restaurant they don't believe is a "real" service dog, forms of languages complain that their neighbors possess a pet in the "no pet" building since they claimed your pet is emotional support animal letter.
A few of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
How can this affect those that legitimately own and use a service animal to higher their lives? In several ways.
For one, it can it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of the disability along with your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. In case a landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the device, it can cause them to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun requesting proof of status, despite the fact that asking for written or any other evidence might not be legal, and although many owners of legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have taken advantage of registering them, and therefore 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 fundamental to 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 that may often match the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it is usually easier to hand over a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting the other party see the information, as opposed to 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 device, or game regulations? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can make an effort to take advantage of many systems that we as a society put in place to protect the rights of those who need such protection. As an example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to benefit from free and convenient parking. As well as the number of folks who lie on their tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse shop return policies, or do other bad acts.
But that percentage of abuse, which in service animal laws is hopefully small, might just be a very small investment when compared to the higher objective of promoting access and equality for all.
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 is the price we gladly pay to make sure that the disabled within the great state of California have equal access under law.