Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs6611922
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are being abused by people 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 system. You hear some complain that they had to sit near your dog at a restaurant that they don't believe is a "real" service dog, or others complain their neighbors possess a pet inside a "no pet" building because they claimed the animal is emotional support animal letter.
Some of the commentary has an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
So how exactly does this affect those that legitimately own and make use of a service animal to higher their lives? In lots of ways.
For one, it may it harder to navigate bureaucracy on the planet when your claim of your disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. In case a landlord or company 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 people have begun requesting proof of status, despite the fact that asking for written or another evidence might not be legal, and even though many owners of legitimate service animals and emotional support animals haven't taken advantage of registering them, and thus have no such documentation to make.
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 fundamental to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can benefit shortcut the housing rental and business access issues if the owner can create a simple document which will often fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it is usually easier to give a document using a simple sentence stating, "This can be 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, carry out some people scam the system, or game what the law states? 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 individuals as a society set up to protect the rights of those that need such protection. For 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 the tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse shop return policies, or do other bad acts.
However that percentage of abuse, which in the area of service animal laws is hopefully small, could well be a very small price to pay when compared to the higher objective of promoting access and equality for those.
In the end, you can't control any system to make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few people who scam service animal laws may be the price we gladly pay to ensure the disabled inside the great condition of California have equal access under law.