Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs668813
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by those that want to scam the machine.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces along with other editorials where people rant and complain about people they feel to be abusing the device. You hear some complain they had to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant which they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, forms of languages complain their neighbors have a pet in a "no pet" building because they claimed the pet is emotional support animal letter.
Some of the commentary has an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
How does this affect those that legitimately own and use a service animal to raised their lives? In many ways.
For one, it can it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of a disability along with 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 whatsoever claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun asking for proof of status, even though asking for written or any other evidence isn't necessarily 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 create.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and business owners that make registrations services like the Service Animal Registry of California so fundamental to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it will also help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues if the owner can produce a simple document that will often match the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it is often easier to give a document using a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting one other party see the information, rather than having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public areas, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, do some people scam the machine, or game the law? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In everyday life, there is always room for abuse and people can try to take advantage of many systems that individuals as a society applied to protect the rights of people who 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 that 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 the area of service animal laws is hopefully small, could well be a very small price to pay when compared to the higher purpose of promoting access and equality for all.
In the end, you can not control any system to really make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few individuals who scam service animal laws is the price we gladly pay to ensure the disabled within the great condition of California have equal access under law.