Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs4164808
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are now being abused by those that want to scam the system.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces and other editorials where people rant and complain about people they feel to be abusing the system. You hear some complain they had to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant which they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, or others complain that the neighbors possess a pet in a "no pet" building simply because they claimed your pet is how to ask doctor for emotional support animal.
A number of the commentary has an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
How can this affect those that legitimately own and employ a service animal to higher their lives? In lots of ways.
For one, it can it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy on the planet when your claim of the disability along with 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 device, it can cause these phones look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun seeking proof of status, despite the fact that asking for written or any other evidence is not always legal, and even though many people who just love legitimate service animals and emotional support animals have not taken advantage of registering them, and so have no such documentation to create.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and business owners that make registrations services such as the Service Animal Registry of California so vital to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues once the owner can create a simple document which will often match the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it is often easier to give over a document using a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting one other party see the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering around the discussion.
So, do some people scam the machine, or game what the law states? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In everyday life, there is always room for abuse and people can try to take advantage of many systems that we as a society set up to protect the rights of those who need such protection. As an example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to benefit from free and convenient parking. Not to mention the number of people that lie on the tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse retail store return policies, or do other bad acts.
However that percentage of abuse, which around service animal laws is hopefully small, could well be a very small investment when compared to the higher goal of promoting access and equality for all.
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.