Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs1563115
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by people who want to scam the system.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces along with other editorials where people rant and complain about people they believe to be abusing the system. You hear some complain that they had to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant which they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, or others complain their neighbors possess a pet in the "no pet" building since they claimed the pet is emotional support animal.
Some of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
How can this affect those that legitimately own and make use of a service animal to higher their lives? In many ways.
For one, it could it more challenging to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of the disability as well as your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. In case a landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that some individuals are abusing the machine, it can cause them to look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun seeking proof of status, although asking for written or any other evidence isn't necessarily legal, and even though many those who own legitimate service animals and emotional support animals have not 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 people that make registrations services just 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 certainly produce a simple document that may often fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it's easier to hand over a document using a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting another party read the information, rather than having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public areas, with onlookers listening in and gathering round the discussion.
So, do some people scam the machine, or game what the law states? 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 we as a society applied to protect the rights of those who 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 folks who lie on their own tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse retail store return policies, or do other bad acts.
However that percentage of abuse, which in the area of service animal laws is hopefully small, could well be a very small investment when compared to the higher purpose 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 people who scam service animal laws may be the price we gladly pay to ensure the disabled inside the great state of California have equal access under law.