Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs1853538
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are 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 think to be abusing the device. You hear some complain that they had to sit near a dog at a restaurant which they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, forms of languages complain that the neighbors have a pet in a "no pet" building simply because they claimed your pet is how to ask doctor for emotional support animal.
A number of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
So how exactly does this affect those who 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 and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If a landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that some individuals are abusing the device, it can cause these to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun seeking proof of status, although asking for written or any other evidence might not be legal, although many owners of legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have 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 fundamental to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can benefit 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 often easier to give over a document with a simple sentence stating, "This can be a service animal" and letting the other party see the information, rather than having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering round the discussion.
So, carry out some people scam the machine, 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 individuals as a society put in place to protect the rights of people 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 people who lie on their own tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse shop 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 objective of promoting access and equality for many.
In the end, you cannot control any system making 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 in the great condition of California have equal access under law.