Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs6820519
Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are being abused by those that want to scam the system.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces along with other editorials where people rant and complain about people they believe to be abusing the device. You hear some complain they had to sit near a dog at a restaurant they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, varieties complain their neighbors use a pet in the "no pet" building because they claimed your pet is esa letter.
A few of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
How does this affect those that legitimately own and make use of a service animal to higher their lives? In many ways.
For one, it may it harder to navigate bureaucracy on the planet when your claim of a disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. In case a landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that some people are abusing the machine, it can cause these phones look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun seeking proof of status, even though asking for written or another evidence isn't necessarily legal, and although many those who own legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have taken advantage of registering them, and thus have no such documentation to produce.
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 can help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues once the owner can certainly produce a simple document that may often match the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it is often easier to hand over a document with a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting the other party read the information, rather than having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, carry out some people scam the device, or game the law? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can try to take advantage of many systems that we as a society applied to protect the rights of those who need such protection. For example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to take advantage of free and convenient parking. Not forgetting the number of people that lie on the tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse shop return policies, or do other bad acts.
However that percentage of abuse, which in 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 cannot control any system to make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the not enough people who scam service animal laws will be the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled inside the great condition of California have equal access under law.