Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs9519826
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are being abused by those that want to scam the machine.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces along with other editorials where people rant and complain about people they feel to be abusing the device. You hear some complain they had to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant they don't believe is a "real" service dog, varieties complain that the neighbors have a pet inside a "no pet" building simply because they claimed the pet is esa letter.
A number of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
How does this affect people who legitimately own and use a service animal to better their lives? In many ways.
For one, it can it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of a disability along with your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. In case a landlord or business proprietor has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the machine, it can cause these to look suspiciously whatsoever claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun seeking proof of status, although asking for written or other evidence isn't necessarily legal, and although many owners of legitimate service animals and emotional support animals have not 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 owners that make registrations services like the Service Animal Registry of California so vital to 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 usually easier to give a document with a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting one other party browse the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering round the discussion.
So, do some people scam the machine, or game regulations? Sadly, the answer then 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 set up to protect the rights of those who need such protection. For instance, 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.
However that percentage of abuse, which around 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 cannot control any system to really make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the not enough people who scam service animal laws is the price we gladly pay to ensure the disabled inside the great state of California have equal access under law.