Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs985782
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by those 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 your dog at a restaurant which they don't believe is a "real" service dog, or others complain that the neighbors have a pet in a "no pet" building since they claimed the pet is emotional support animal letter.
Some of the commentary has an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
How can this affect those who legitimately own and use a service animal to better their lives? In many ways.
For one, it can it harder to navigate bureaucracy on the planet when your claim of the disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If your landlord or company 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 requesting proof of status, although asking for written or other evidence isn't necessarily legal, and 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 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 vital to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it will also help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues if the owner can produce a simple document which will often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it is often easier to give over a document using a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting another party see the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public areas, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, do some people scam the device, or game what the law states? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In your life, there is always room for abuse the ones can make an effort 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 benefit from free and convenient parking. As well as the number of folks who lie on their own 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, could well be a very small price to pay when compared to the higher goal of promoting access and equality for all.
In the end, you cannot control any system to really make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few people who scam service animal laws will be the price we gladly pay to make sure that the disabled in the great state of California have equal access under law.