Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs344035
Sadly, many people 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 along with other editorials where people rant and complain about people they think to be abusing the system. You hear some complain that they to sit near your dog at a restaurant which they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, or others complain that their neighbors have a pet in the "no pet" building simply because they claimed the pet is emotional support animal letter.
Some of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
How can this affect those who legitimately own and employ a service animal to raised their lives? In several ways.
For one, it could it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of your disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. In case a landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that some individuals are abusing the machine, it can cause these to look suspiciously whatsoever claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun asking for proof of status, although asking for written or other evidence is not always legal, although many owners of 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 vital to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues once the owner can certainly produce a simple document which will often match the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it is often easier to give over a document having a simple sentence stating, "This can be a service animal" and letting the other party browse the information, rather than 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 system, or game what the law states? Sadly, the answer then 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 those who need such protection. For instance, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to benefit from free and convenient parking. As well as the number of people who lie on their tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse shop return policies, or do other bad acts.
But that percentage of abuse, which in the area of 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 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 make sure that the disabled in the great condition of California have equal access under law.