Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs3350516
Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by those that want to scam the system.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces and other editorials where people rant and complain about people they think to be abusing the machine. You hear some complain they had to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, forms of languages complain that their neighbors use a pet in the "no pet" building since they claimed the animal is emotional support animal.
A number of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, plus some people are downright angry.
So how exactly does this affect those that legitimately own and employ a service animal to raised their lives? In several ways.
For one, it could 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 company owner has heard negative stories claiming that some people are abusing the system, it can cause these to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun seeking proof of status, although asking for written or other evidence isn't necessarily legal, although many owners of legitimate service animals and emotional support animals haven't 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 such as 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 using public spaces, it is often easier to give a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting another party browse the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public areas, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, perform some people scam the machine, or game regulations? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and people can try 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. Not to mention the number of folks who lie on their own tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse retail store return policies, or do other bad acts.
However that percentage of abuse, which around service animal laws is hopefully small, is arguably a very small price to pay when compared to the higher purpose of promoting access and equality for those.
In the end, you can't control any system making it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few 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.