Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs6516546
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are being abused by people who want to scam the device.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces along with other editorials where people rant and complain about people they think to be abusing the machine. You hear some complain they had to sit near your dog at a restaurant which they don't believe is a "real" service dog, or others complain that the neighbors have a pet in a "no pet" building simply because they claimed the animal is emotional support animal registration.
A number of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
So how exactly does this affect people who legitimately own and make use of a service animal to better their lives? In several ways.
For one, it may it more challenging to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of the disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. In case a landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that some people are abusing the system, it can cause these phones look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun asking for proof of status, despite the fact that asking for written or another evidence isn't necessarily legal, and even though many people who just love legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have 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 business people 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 which will often fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it's easier to give over a document with a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting the other party see the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public areas, with onlookers listening in and gathering around the discussion.
So, carry out some people scam the device, or game the law? Sadly, the reply 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 set up to protect the rights of those who need such protection. For instance, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to benefit from free and convenient parking. Not to mention the number of people who lie on their own tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse shop return policies, or do other bad acts.
But that percentage of abuse, which around service animal laws is hopefully small, could well be a very small investment when compared to the higher objective of promoting access and equality for many.
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 ensure the disabled inside the great state of California have equal access under law.