Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs5324986
Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by those that want to scam the system.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces as well as other editorials where people rant and complain about people they think to be abusing the device. You hear some complain they had to sit near a dog at a restaurant that they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, varieties complain that the neighbors use a pet in the "no pet" building because they claimed the animal is emotional support animal.
A number of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
So how exactly does this affect those who legitimately own and use a service animal to raised their lives? In lots of ways.
For one, it can it harder to navigate bureaucracy around the globe 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 to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun seeking proof of status, although asking for written or another evidence might not be legal, although many those who own legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have taken advantage of registering them, and therefore have no such documentation to make.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and business people that make registrations services such as the Service Animal Registry of California so important legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can benefit shortcut the housing rental and business access issues when the owner can produce a simple document that will often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it's easier to hand over a document using a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting another party read the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public areas, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, do some people scam the system, or game regulations? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse the ones can attempt to take advantage of many systems that we as a society applied to protect the rights of people 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 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, might just be a very small investment when compared to the higher objective of promoting access and equality for many.
In the end, you can not 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 in the great state of California have equal access under law.