Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs3743090
Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are now being abused by those that want to scam the device.
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 that they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, or others complain their neighbors possess a pet inside a "no pet" building because they claimed the pet is emotional support animal registration.
A number of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, plus some people are downright angry.
So how exactly does this affect people who legitimately own and employ a service animal to raised their lives? In many ways.
For one, it may it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of your disability as well as your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If your landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that some people are abusing the machine, it can cause these to look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun seeking proof of status, despite the fact that asking for written or other evidence is not always legal, although many owners of legitimate service animals and emotional support animals haven't taken advantage of registering them, and therefore have no such documentation to produce.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and companies that make registrations services just like the Service Animal Registry of California so fundamental to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can benefit shortcut the housing rental and business access issues if the owner can produce a simple document that may often fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it is usually easier to give a document with a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting one other party see the information, instead of having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering round the discussion.
So, do some people scam the system, or game regulations? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In your life, there is always room for abuse and people can make an effort to take advantage of many systems that people as a society set up to protect the rights of people 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 folks who lie on their tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse shop return policies, or do other bad acts.
But that percentage of abuse, which in the area of 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 can not control any system making it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few people who scam service animal laws is the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled in the great condition of California have equal access under law.