Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs8841185
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by those that 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 a dog at a restaurant which they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, forms of languages complain their neighbors use a pet in a "no pet" building since they claimed the pet is how to ask doctor for emotional support animal.
A few of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, plus some people are downright angry.
How can this affect those who legitimately own and use a service animal to better their lives? In several ways.
For one, it can it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy on the planet when your claim of your disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. In case a landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the machine, it can cause them to look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun seeking proof of status, although asking for written or other evidence might not be legal, although many those who own legitimate service animals and emotional support animals have not taken advantage of registering them, and so have no such documentation to make.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and business people that make registrations services just like 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 if the owner can certainly produce a simple document which will often match the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it is usually easier to hand over a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting the other party browse the information, instead of having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering around the discussion.
So, perform some people scam the machine, or game regulations? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and people can try to take advantage of many systems that people as a society applied 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 forgetting the number of people that lie on their tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse store return policies, or do other bad acts.
But that percentage of abuse, which in service animal laws is hopefully small, might just be a very small price to pay when compared to the higher purpose of promoting access and equality for those.
In the end, you can't control any system to really 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 within the great condition of California have equal access under law.