Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs9532341
Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are now being abused by people who 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 device. You hear some complain that they to sit near a dog at a restaurant that they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, forms of languages complain that the neighbors have a pet inside a "no pet" building because they claimed the pet is emotional support animal.
A number of the commentary has an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
How can this affect those that legitimately own and employ a service animal to raised their lives? In many ways.
For one, it may it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of your disability as well as your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If a landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that some people are abusing the device, it can cause these to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun requesting proof of status, although asking for written or any other evidence might not be legal, and although many owners of legitimate service animals and emotional support animals have not taken advantage of registering them, and so have no such documentation to create.
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 important legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues once the owner can produce a simple document that will often match the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it is usually easier to give over a document with 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 even worse, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering round the discussion.
So, carry out some people scam the device, or game what the law states? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In your life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can attempt to take advantage of many systems that we as a society set up to protect the rights of people who need such protection. For example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to benefit from free and convenient parking. Not to mention 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 around service animal laws is hopefully small, could well be a very small price to pay when compared to the higher goal of promoting access and equality for many.
In the end, you cannot control any system to really make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the not enough 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.