Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs8800549
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are now being abused by those who want to scam the machine.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces and other editorials where people rant and complain about people they believe to be abusing the machine. You hear some complain that they to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant which they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, forms of languages complain their neighbors have a pet in the "no pet" building since they claimed your pet is emotional support animal.
Some of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, and a few 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 could it harder to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of the disability along with your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If a landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that some people are abusing the device, it can cause these to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun asking for proof of status, despite the fact that asking for written or another evidence isn't necessarily legal, and although many people who just love legitimate service animals and emotional support animals have not 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 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 when the owner can create 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 can be 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 areas, with onlookers listening in and gathering round the discussion.
So, do some people scam the device, or game the law? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In everyday life, there is always room for abuse and people can try to take advantage of many systems that people as a society applied to protect the rights of people who need such protection. For 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 retail store return policies, or do other bad acts.
However that percentage of abuse, which around 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 can't control any system to make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the not enough people who scam service animal laws will be the price we gladly pay to ensure the disabled in the great condition of California have equal access under law.