Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs9085100
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are now being abused by those that want to scam the system.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces as well as 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 they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, varieties complain that their neighbors have a pet inside a "no pet" building simply because they claimed the animal is esa doctors.
A few of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
How does this affect those who legitimately own and make use of a service animal to raised their lives? In many ways.
For one, it may it harder to navigate bureaucracy on the planet when your claim of your disability along with your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If a landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that some people are abusing the device, it can cause these phones look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun seeking proof of status, even though asking for written or another evidence is not always legal, although many owners of legitimate service animals and emotional support animals have not 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 like 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 produce a simple document that may often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing 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 read the information, instead of having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, 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 life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can make an effort to take advantage of many systems that people as a society applied to protect the rights of those that 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 retail store return policies, or do other bad acts.
But that percentage of abuse, which in service animal laws is hopefully small, might just be a very small price to pay when compared to the higher purpose of promoting access and equality for many.
In the end, you can not control any system to make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few people who scam service animal laws will be the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled in the great state of California have equal access under law.