Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs9351938

De GEATI - Grupo de Estudos Avançados em TI
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Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by people who 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 device. You hear some complain they had to sit near your dog at a restaurant which they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, or others complain that their neighbors possess a pet in the "no pet" building since they claimed the pet is emotional support animal letter.

Some of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.

How can this affect people who legitimately own and make use of a service animal to higher their lives? In lots of ways.

For one, it can it harder to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of your disability along with your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. In case a landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the device, it can cause them to look suspiciously at all claimants.

Some landlord and business people have begun requesting proof of status, although asking for written or another evidence is not always legal, and although many people who just love legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have 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 such as 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 certainly produce a simple document that will often match the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it is often easier to give over a document having a simple sentence stating, "This can be a service animal" and letting another party read the information, rather than having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering around the discussion.

So, do some people scam the device, or game regulations? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In everyday life, there is always room for abuse the ones can make an effort to take advantage of many systems that we as a society applied to protect the rights of those 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 people who lie on their tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse retail store 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 price to pay when compared to the higher purpose of promoting access and equality for many.

In the end, you can't control any system making 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 within the great state of California have equal access under law.