Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs6705541
Sadly, some individuals 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 feel to be abusing the system. You hear some complain that they had to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant which they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, or others complain their neighbors use a pet in the "no pet" building since they claimed the pet is emotional support animal registration.
A few of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
How does this affect people who legitimately own and make use of a service animal to raised their lives? In many ways.
For one, it could it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of your disability as well as your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If your landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that some people are abusing the device, it can cause these phones look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun requesting proof of status, even though asking for written or other evidence is not always legal, and even though many those who own legitimate service animals and emotional support animals haven't taken advantage of registering them, and thus have no such documentation to create.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and business owners 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 when 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 over a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting another party read the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering round the discussion.
So, do some people scam the machine, or game the law? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can make an effort to take advantage of many systems that people 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 take advantage of free and convenient parking. As well as the number of people that lie on the tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse store return policies, or do other bad acts.
But that percentage of abuse, which in the area of 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 those.
In the end, you can not 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 within the great condition of California have equal access under law.