Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs5858530
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are now being abused by those who want to scam the device.
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 machine. You hear some complain that they had to sit near a dog at a restaurant they don't believe is a "real" service dog, forms of languages complain their neighbors possess a pet in the "no pet" building since they claimed the animal is emotional support animal registration.
A few of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
How can this affect people who legitimately own and use a service animal to higher their lives? In many ways.
For one, it may it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of your disability as well as your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If a landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the system, it can cause these to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun requesting proof of status, even though asking for written or another evidence might not be legal, and even though many people who just love legitimate service animals and emotional support animals haven't taken advantage of registering them, and therefore have no such documentation to make.
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 important legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can benefit shortcut the housing rental and business access issues when the owner can certainly produce a simple document that may often match the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it is usually easier to give a document using a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting the other party see the information, rather than having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering round the discussion.
So, do some people scam the device, or game what the law states? Sadly, the answer is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can try to take advantage of many systems that we as a society put in place to protect the rights of those that need such protection. For instance, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to benefit from free and convenient parking. As well as the number of folks who lie on their tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse retail store return policies, or do other bad acts.
However that percentage of abuse, which in the area of service animal laws is hopefully small, is arguably a very small price to pay when compared to the higher objective of promoting access and equality for all.
In the end, you can not control any system to really make 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.