Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs9299858
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are now 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 believe to be abusing the machine. 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, forms of languages complain that the neighbors have 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 some people are downright angry.
So how exactly does this affect those who legitimately own and employ a service animal to better their lives? In many ways.
For one, it could it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy on the planet when your claim of the disability as well as 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 system, it can cause these phones look suspiciously whatsoever claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun seeking proof of status, even though asking for written or other evidence is not always legal, although many owners of legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have 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 fundamental to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it will also help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues once the owner can certainly produce a simple document that may often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it is usually easier to give a document with a simple sentence stating, "This can be a service animal" and letting one other party see the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering round the discussion.
So, perform some people scam the device, or game regulations? 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 set up 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 who lie on their own tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse shop return policies, or do other bad acts.
But that percentage of abuse, which in the area of service animal laws is hopefully small, could well be a very small price to pay when compared to the higher goal of promoting access and equality for those.
In the end, you cannot control any system to make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few individuals who scam service animal laws is the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled in the great state of California have equal access under law.