Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs5151226
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are 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 feel to be abusing the device. You hear some complain they had to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, varieties complain that the neighbors possess a pet inside a "no pet" building simply because they claimed your pet is emotional support animal.
Some of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
How does this affect people who legitimately own and make use of a service animal to raised their lives? In many ways.
For one, it may it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy of the world 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 some individuals are abusing the machine, it can cause these to look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun asking for proof of status, although asking for written or other evidence is not always legal, and 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 create.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and business owners that make registrations services just like the Service Animal Registry of California so important legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues once the owner can produce a simple document that will often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it's easier to give a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting another party browse the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, do some people scam the machine, or game the law? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In your life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can try to take advantage of many systems that we as a society put in place to protect the rights of people 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 people who lie on their own tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse retail store return policies, or do other bad acts.
But that percentage of abuse, which in the area of service animal laws is hopefully small, is arguably a very small investment when compared to the higher objective of promoting access and equality for those.
In the end, you can not control any system to 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 inside the great state of California have equal access under law.