Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs1339103
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are being abused by those that want to scam the machine.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces as well as other editorials where people rant and complain about people they believe to be abusing the machine. You hear some complain they had 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 possess a pet in a "no pet" building because they claimed the animal is esa letter.
Some of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
So how exactly does this affect people who legitimately own and employ a service animal to higher their lives? In several ways.
For one, it can it harder 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. If a landlord or business proprietor has heard negative stories claiming that some individuals are abusing the system, it can cause them to look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun seeking proof of status, despite the fact that asking for written or other evidence might not be legal, and although many those who own legitimate service animals and emotional support animals have not taken advantage of registering them, and so have no such documentation to produce.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and companies that make registrations services like the Service Animal Registry of California so vital 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 may often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it is usually easier to hand over a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting the other party browse the information, rather than having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, carry out some people scam the machine, or game regulations? Sadly, the answer is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse the ones can try to take advantage of many systems that people 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 that lie on the tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse retail store 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 investment when compared to the higher purpose of promoting access and equality for those.
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 may be the price we gladly pay to make sure that the disabled in the great state of California have equal access under law.