Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs8268689
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by people who want to scam the machine.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces and other editorials where people rant and complain about people they feel to be abusing the machine. You hear some complain that they had to sit near a dog at a restaurant that they don't believe is a "real" service dog, or others complain that the neighbors have a pet inside a "no pet" building simply because they claimed your pet is esa doctors.
Some of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
How does this affect people who legitimately own and use a service animal to better their lives? In lots of ways.
For one, it could it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of your disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If a landlord or business owner 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 owners have begun requesting proof of status, although asking for written or other evidence might not be legal, and even though many people who just love legitimate service animals and emotional support animals have not taken advantage of registering them, and thus have no such documentation to make.
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 vital to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it will also help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues once the owner can create a simple document that may often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it's easier to hand over a document using a simple sentence stating, "This can be a service animal" and letting one other party read the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, carry out some people scam the device, or game what the law states? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can try to take advantage of many systems that people as a society set up to protect the rights of those 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 folks who lie on their own tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse retail 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 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 is the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled within the great condition of California have equal access under law.