Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs5700617
Sadly, some individuals 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 along with other editorials where people rant and complain about people they think to be abusing the device. You hear some complain they had to sit near your dog at a restaurant which they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, or others complain that the neighbors use a pet inside a "no pet" building since they claimed the animal is emotional support animal.
A few of the commentary has an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
So how exactly does this affect those that legitimately own and employ a service animal to raised their lives? In many ways.
For one, it could it more challenging to navigate bureaucracy on the planet when your claim of your disability as well as your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If a landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the machine, it can cause these to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun asking for proof of status, even though asking for written or another evidence might not be legal, and although many owners of legitimate service animals and emotional support animals haven't 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 companies that make registrations services such as the Service Animal Registry of California so vital to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can benefit shortcut the housing rental and business access issues if the owner can certainly produce a simple document that will often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it's easier to give a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting one other party read the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, do some people scam the system, or game the law? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In your life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can try to take advantage of many systems that we as a society set up to protect the rights of people 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 people who lie on the tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse shop 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 investment when compared to the higher objective of promoting access and equality for those.
In the end, you cannot control any system to make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few individuals who scam service animal laws will be the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled within the great state of California have equal access under law.