Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs8226777
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 feel to be abusing the device. You hear some complain that they had to sit near a dog at a restaurant they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, or others complain that the neighbors possess a pet in the "no pet" building since they claimed your pet is emotional support animal registration.
A few of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, plus some people are downright angry.
How can this affect those that legitimately own and use a service animal to better their lives? In several ways.
For one, it may it harder to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of a disability as well as your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. In case a landlord or business proprietor has heard negative stories claiming that some people are abusing the system, it can cause these to look suspiciously whatsoever claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun requesting proof of status, despite the fact that asking for written or any other evidence is not always legal, and although many those who own legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have taken advantage of registering them, and therefore have no such documentation to make.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and business people that make registrations services such as the Service Animal Registry of California so vital to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues if the owner can certainly produce a simple document which will often fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it is usually easier to hand over a document using a simple sentence stating, "This can be a service animal" and letting another 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, do some people scam the machine, or game regulations? 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 those that need such protection. As an example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to take advantage of free and convenient parking. As well as 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 around service animal laws is hopefully small, might just be a very small investment 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 not enough people 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.