Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs5828411
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are being abused by people who 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 think to be abusing the system. You hear some complain they had to sit near your dog at a restaurant they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, or others complain their neighbors have a pet in the "no pet" building simply because they claimed the animal is emotional support animal letter.
A few of the commentary has an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
So how exactly does this affect people who legitimately own and make use of a service animal to higher their lives? In lots of ways.
For one, it can it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of a disability as well as your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If a landlord or business proprietor has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the system, it can cause these to look suspiciously whatsoever claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun seeking proof of status, although asking for written or other evidence might not be legal, and although many people who just love legitimate service animals and emotional support animals have not taken advantage of registering them, and so have no such documentation to produce.
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 if the owner can create a simple document that will often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it's easier to give a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting the other party see the information, rather than having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, do some people scam the device, or game regulations? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In your life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can attempt to take advantage of many systems that people as a society put in place to protect the rights of those that need such protection. As an example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to benefit from free and convenient parking. Not forgetting the number of people that lie on their tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse retail store return policies, or do other bad acts.
However that percentage of abuse, which in service animal laws is hopefully small, might just be a very small investment when compared to the higher purpose of promoting access and equality for those.
In the end, you cannot control any system to really make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few individuals who scam service animal laws will be the price we gladly pay to ensure the disabled in the great condition of California have equal access under law.