Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs3453148
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 system. You hear some complain that they had to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant that they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, or others complain that their neighbors possess a pet inside a "no pet" building simply because they claimed the pet is emotional support animal.
A few of the commentary has an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
How can this affect those that legitimately own and use a service animal to raised their lives? In lots of 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 individuals are abusing the machine, it can cause these phones look suspiciously whatsoever claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun requesting proof of status, even though asking for written or other evidence is not always legal, and even though many people who just love legitimate service animals and emotional support animals have not taken advantage of registering them, and thus have no such documentation to create.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and business people that make registrations services just 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 certainly produce a simple document which will often fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it is usually easier to give over a document using a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting another party see the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering around the discussion.
So, do some people scam the device, or game regulations? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In everyday life, there is always room for abuse and people can attempt to take advantage of many systems that we as a society applied to protect the rights of people who need such protection. As an example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to take advantage of free and convenient parking. Not to mention the number of people who lie on their 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, could well be a very small price to pay when compared to the higher goal of promoting access and equality for those.
In the end, you can't control any system to make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few individuals who scam service animal laws may be the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled within the great condition of California have equal access under law.