Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs9615624
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are 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 system. You hear some complain they had to sit near a dog at a restaurant which they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, varieties complain their neighbors have a pet in the "no pet" building since they claimed the pet is emotional support animal letter.
A few of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, plus some people are downright angry.
How can this affect people who legitimately own and make use of a service animal to higher their lives? In several ways.
For one, it can it more challenging to navigate bureaucracy on the planet when your claim of your disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If your landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the machine, it can cause them to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun asking for proof of status, although asking for written or any other evidence isn't necessarily legal, and although many those who own legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have taken advantage of registering them, and so have no such documentation to create.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and business owners 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 once the owner can certainly produce a simple document that will often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it's easier to give over a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting the other party read the information, rather than having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public areas, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, do some people scam the machine, 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 put in place 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. Not forgetting the number of people who lie on their tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse retail store return policies, or do other bad acts.
But that percentage of abuse, which in the area of service animal laws is hopefully small, is arguably a very small investment when compared to the higher purpose of promoting access and equality for all.
In the end, you cannot control any system making it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few individuals who scam service animal laws may be the price we gladly pay to ensure the disabled inside the great condition of California have equal access under law.