Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs3064027
Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are now being abused by those who want to scam the system.
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 to sit near a dog at a restaurant they don't believe can be 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 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 better their lives? In lots of ways.
For one, it could 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. In case a landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that some people are abusing the system, it can cause these phones look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun asking for proof of status, even though asking for written or any other evidence might not be legal, although many those who own legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have taken advantage of registering them, and thus have no such documentation to make.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and business owners that make registrations services such as 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 once the owner can produce a simple document that will often match the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it's easier to give a document using a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting one other party see the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering round the discussion.
So, do some people scam the system, or game what the law states? Sadly, the answer is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and people can try to take advantage of many systems that we as a society set up to protect the rights of people who need such protection. For instance, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to benefit from free and convenient parking. Not forgetting the number of people who lie on the tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse store return policies, or do other bad acts.
But 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 objective of promoting access and equality for all.
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 may be the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled inside the great state of California have equal access under law.