Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs5453743
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are being abused by those that want to scam the device.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces and other editorials where people rant and complain about people they think to be abusing the device. You hear some complain that they had to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant that they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, varieties complain that the neighbors possess a pet inside a "no pet" building simply because they claimed your pet is emotional support animal registration.
A few of the commentary has an indignant tone, plus some people are downright angry.
How does this affect those that legitimately own and use a service animal to higher their lives? In several ways.
For one, it can it harder to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of a disability along with your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If your landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that some individuals are abusing the machine, it can cause these to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun asking for proof of status, although asking for written or other evidence is not always legal, and although many those who own legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have 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 companies that make registrations services just like the Service Animal Registry of California so fundamental to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues once the owner can certainly produce a simple document that will often fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it is often easier to give a document using a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting one other party see the information, rather than having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, do some people scam the machine, or game regulations? Sadly, the answer 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 put in place to protect the rights of people who 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 who lie on the tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse store 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 objective of promoting access and equality for many.
In the end, you can't control any system to really make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few people who scam service animal laws may be the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled in the great condition of California have equal access under law.