Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs1993185
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 as well as other editorials where people rant and complain about people they think to be abusing the system. You hear some complain that they had to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant which they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, varieties complain that the neighbors possess a pet in the "no pet" building since they claimed the animal is emotional support animal letter.
Some of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, and some 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 can it more challenging to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of the disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If your landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that some people are abusing the system, it can cause these to look suspiciously whatsoever claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun requesting proof of status, although asking for written or other evidence might not be legal, and even though many those who own 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 companies that make registrations services such as 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 once the owner can produce a simple document which will often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when using 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 browse the information, rather than having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, do some people scam the machine, or game what the law states? Sadly, the answer is "probably yes." In your life, there is always room for abuse and people can make an effort to take advantage of many systems that we as a society put in place to protect the rights of those who need such protection. As an example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to benefit from free and convenient parking. As well as the number of people who lie on their tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse 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 objective of promoting access and equality for all.
In the end, you cannot control any system making it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few people who scam service animal laws will be the price we gladly pay to make sure that the disabled in the great state of California have equal access under law.