Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs5976589
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are now being abused by people 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 device. You hear some complain that they to sit near a dog at a restaurant that they don't believe is a "real" service dog, or others complain that their neighbors use a pet in the "no pet" building because they claimed the pet is emotional support animal letter.
A number of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
How can this affect people who legitimately own and make use of a service animal to higher their lives? In many ways.
For one, it could it harder 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 machine, it can cause these to look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun requesting proof of status, even though asking for written or another evidence isn't necessarily legal, although many owners of legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have 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 people that make registrations services such as the Service Animal Registry of California so fundamental to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it will also help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues when the owner can create a simple document that may often match the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it is often easier to give a document having a simple sentence stating, "This can be a service animal" and letting one other party see the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, perform some people scam the system, or game the law? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and people can make an effort to take advantage of many systems that individuals as a society set up to protect the rights of people 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 that lie on their own tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse store return policies, or do other bad acts.
However that percentage of abuse, which around service animal laws is hopefully small, is arguably a very small price to pay when compared to the higher purpose of promoting access and equality for many.
In the end, you can not control any system to make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few individuals who scam service animal laws may be the price we gladly pay to ensure the disabled inside the great state of California have equal access under law.