Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs2623861
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are now being abused by those that want to scam the device.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces as well as other editorials where people rant and complain about people they believe to be abusing the device. You hear some complain they had to sit near a dog at a restaurant they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, or others complain that the neighbors use a pet in the "no pet" building since they claimed your pet is esa doctors.
A few of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
How does this affect people who legitimately own and employ a service animal to better their lives? In lots of ways.
For one, it can it harder to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of a disability as well as your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If your landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that some people are abusing the machine, it can cause them to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun requesting proof of status, even though asking for written or other evidence isn't necessarily legal, although many those who own legitimate service animals and emotional support animals have not taken advantage of registering them, and thus have no such documentation to produce.
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 fundamental to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can benefit shortcut the housing rental and business access issues once the owner can create a simple document which will often match the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it is usually easier to hand over a document having a simple sentence stating, "This can be a service animal" and letting another party read the information, rather than having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public areas, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, carry out some people scam the device, or game what the law states? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can try to take advantage of many systems that people as a society set up to protect the rights of those that need such protection. As an example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to benefit from free and convenient parking. Not to mention 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 service animal laws is hopefully small, could well be 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 to make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the not enough people who scam service animal laws is the price we gladly pay to make sure that the disabled inside the great condition of California have equal access under law.