Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs3345197
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are being abused by those 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 think to be abusing the system. You hear some complain they had to sit near your dog at a restaurant they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, varieties complain their neighbors possess a pet in a "no pet" building because they claimed the animal is emotional support animal registration.
Some of the commentary has an indignant tone, plus some people are downright angry.
How does this affect those that legitimately own and employ a service animal to raised their lives? In several ways.
For one, it may 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. If a landlord or business proprietor has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the device, it can cause these to look suspiciously in any way 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 owners of legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have taken advantage of registering them, and therefore have no such documentation to create.
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 benefit shortcut the housing rental and business access issues once the owner can certainly produce a simple document which will often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it is usually easier to hand over a document having a simple sentence stating, "This can be a service animal" and letting another party browse the information, rather than having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering round the discussion.
So, do some people scam the device, or game the law? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse the ones can try to take advantage of many systems that people as a society applied to protect the rights of those that need such protection. For example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to benefit from free and convenient parking. Not forgetting the number of folks 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 around 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 all.
In the end, you can't control any system making it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few people who scam service animal laws will be the price we gladly pay to make sure that the disabled within the great state of California have equal access under law.