Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs8145613
Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are being abused by those that want to scam the system.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces and other editorials where people rant and complain about people they think to be abusing the machine. You hear some complain that they had to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, forms of languages complain their neighbors use a pet in a "no pet" building since they claimed the pet 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 employ 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 a 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 system, it can cause these to look suspiciously whatsoever claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun asking for proof of status, even though asking for written or other evidence isn't necessarily legal, and even though many those who own legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have taken advantage of registering them, and thus have no such documentation to produce.
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 will also help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues once the owner can produce a simple document that will often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it is often easier to give a document with a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting another party see the information, instead of having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public areas, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, do some people scam the machine, or game the law? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and people can try to take advantage of many systems that individuals as a society put in place to protect the rights of people who need such protection. For instance, 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 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 all.
In the end, you cannot control any system to really make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few people who scam service animal laws is the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled within the great condition of California have equal access under law.