Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs2707806
Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are now being abused by those who want to scam the machine.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces and other editorials where people rant and complain about people they think to be abusing the system. You hear some complain they had to sit near a dog at a restaurant that they don't believe is a "real" service dog, or others complain that their neighbors have a pet in the "no pet" building since they claimed the pet is emotional support animal letter.
A number of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, plus some people are downright angry.
How can this affect those that legitimately own and employ a service animal to raised their lives? In lots of ways.
For one, it can it more challenging to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of a disability as well as your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If your landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that some people are abusing the system, it can cause these phones look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun requesting proof of status, even though asking for written or another evidence might not be legal, although many owners of legitimate service animals and emotional support animals haven't 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 owners that make registrations services like the Service Animal Registry of California so fundamental to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues once the owner can produce a simple document which will often fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it is often easier to hand over a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting the other party see the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering round the discussion.
So, do some people scam the device, or game regulations? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In everyday 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 who need such protection. For instance, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to benefit from free and convenient parking. Not forgetting the number of people that lie on their tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse shop return policies, or do other bad acts.
However 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 goal of promoting access and equality for those.
In the end, you can't control any system to really make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few individuals who scam service animal laws is the price we gladly pay to make sure that the disabled inside the great state of California have equal access under law.