Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs2996111
Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are 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 machine. You hear some complain that they to sit near your dog at a restaurant that they don't believe is a "real" service dog, or others complain their neighbors have a pet in the "no pet" building because they claimed your pet is emotional support animal.
A number of the commentary has an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
How can this affect those who legitimately own and make use of a service animal to better their lives? In many ways.
For one, it can it harder to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of your 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 individuals are abusing the machine, it can cause them to look suspiciously whatsoever claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun asking for proof of status, despite the fact that asking for written or other evidence might not be legal, and although 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 produce.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and companies that make registrations services such as the Service Animal Registry of California so important 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 which will often fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it is usually easier to hand over a document with a simple sentence stating, "This can be a service animal" and letting another party see the information, rather than having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering around the discussion.
So, perform some people scam the machine, or game what the law states? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can make an effort 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 take advantage of free and convenient parking. Not forgetting the number of people who lie on their tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse store return policies, or do other bad acts.
However that percentage of abuse, which in service animal laws is hopefully small, might just be a very small investment when compared to the higher goal of promoting access and equality for all.
In the end, you can't control any system to really make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the not enough people who scam service animal laws is the price we gladly pay to make sure that the disabled within the great condition of California have equal access under law.