Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs7084144
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 they don't believe is a "real" service dog, or others complain their neighbors have a pet in a "no pet" building since they claimed your pet is emotional support animal.
A number of the commentary has an indignant tone, plus some people are downright angry.
How does this affect people who legitimately own and employ a service animal to raised their lives? In lots of ways.
For one, it may it harder to navigate bureaucracy on the planet when your claim of the disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If a landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the machine, it can cause them to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun asking for proof of status, although asking for written or any other evidence is not always legal, and although many people who just love legitimate service animals and emotional support animals haven't 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 owners that make registrations services such as 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's easier to give over a document with a simple sentence stating, "This can be a service animal" and letting another party browse the information, instead of having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, perform 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 try to take advantage of many systems that we as a society applied to protect the rights of people who need such protection. For example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to benefit from free and convenient parking. Not forgetting the number of people that lie on their own 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, is arguably 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 to make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few people who scam service animal laws may be the price we gladly pay to make sure that the disabled within the great state of California have equal access under law.