Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs2044170
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by people who want to scam the device.
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 machine. You hear some complain that they to sit near your dog at a restaurant that they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, or others complain that their neighbors have a pet inside a "no pet" building simply because they claimed your pet is emotional support animal.
A few of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
How can this affect those who legitimately own and employ a service animal to raised their lives? In lots of ways.
For one, it may it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy on the planet when your claim of a disability along with 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 device, it can cause these to look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun requesting proof of status, even though asking for written or other evidence is not always legal, and even though many people who just love legitimate service animals and emotional support animals haven't 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 owners that make registrations services just like the Service Animal Registry of California so important 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 that may often match the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it is often easier to hand over a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting the other party read the information, instead of having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering around the discussion.
So, do some people scam the system, or game regulations? Sadly, the answer is "probably yes." In everyday life, there is always room for abuse the ones can make an effort to take advantage of many systems that we as a society set up to protect the rights of those that need such protection. For instance, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to take advantage of free and convenient parking. Not to mention the number of people who lie on their own tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse retail store return policies, or do other bad acts.
But that percentage of abuse, which around 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 all.
In the end, you cannot control any system to really 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.