Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs8985548
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are being abused by people who want to scam the machine.
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 device. You hear some complain that they had to sit near a dog at a restaurant that they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, or others complain their neighbors have a pet in the "no pet" building since they claimed the animal is emotional support animal.
A few of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
How can this affect those who legitimately own and make use of a service animal to better their lives? In many ways.
For one, it could it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy on the planet when your claim of your disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If a landlord or business proprietor has heard negative stories claiming that some people are abusing the machine, it can cause them to look suspiciously whatsoever claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun requesting proof of status, despite the fact that asking for written or other evidence is not always 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 make.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and business owners that make registrations services like the Service Animal Registry of California so important legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it will also help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues once the owner can certainly produce a simple document that will often fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it is often easier to give over a document using a simple sentence stating, "This can be a service animal" and letting the other party see the information, instead of having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, do some people scam the system, or game the law? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In your life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can make an effort to take advantage of many systems that individuals as a society set up to protect the rights of those who need such protection. As an example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to take advantage of free and convenient parking. As well as the number of folks who lie on their tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse 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 investment when compared to the higher goal of promoting access and equality for those.
In the end, you can not control any system to make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few people who scam service animal laws may be the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled within the great state of California have equal access under law.