Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs5448183
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are being abused by those that 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 believe to be abusing the machine. You hear some complain they had to sit near your dog at a restaurant that they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, or others complain that their neighbors possess a pet in a "no pet" building simply because they claimed the pet is how to ask doctor for emotional support animal.
A number of the commentary has an indignant tone, plus some people are downright angry.
How can this affect people who legitimately own and use a service animal to better their lives? In several ways.
For one, it may it harder to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of the disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If a landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the device, it can cause these phones look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun asking for proof of status, although asking for written or another evidence isn't necessarily legal, and although many those who own legitimate service animals and emotional support animals have not 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 just like 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 if the owner can produce a simple document that may often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it is usually easier to give over a document with a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting one other party browse the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering around the discussion.
So, carry out some people scam the system, or game the law? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and people can attempt to take advantage of many systems that we as a society put in place to protect the rights of those that need such protection. For example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to take advantage of free and convenient parking. Not forgetting the number of people who lie on their tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse shop return policies, or do other bad acts.
However that percentage of abuse, which around service animal laws is hopefully small, is arguably a very small price to pay when compared to the higher purpose of promoting access and equality for all.
In the end, you can't control any system making it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few people who scam service animal laws is the price we gladly pay to make sure that the disabled in the great condition of California have equal access under law.