Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs553835
Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are now being abused by those that 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 that they had to sit near a dog at a restaurant which they don't believe is a "real" service dog, varieties complain that the neighbors possess a pet inside a "no pet" building because they claimed the pet is emotional support animal letter.
A few of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
So how exactly does this affect those that legitimately own and use a service animal to higher their lives? In lots of ways.
For one, it can it more challenging to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of a disability as well as your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If a landlord or business proprietor has heard negative stories claiming that some people are abusing the system, it can cause these to look suspiciously whatsoever claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun seeking proof of status, although asking for written or any other evidence isn't necessarily legal, and even though 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 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 important legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can benefit shortcut the housing rental and business access issues when the owner can produce a simple document that will often fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it's easier to give a document having a simple sentence stating, "This can be a service animal" and letting one other party read the information, instead of having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering around the discussion.
So, perform some people scam the system, or game what the law states? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In everyday life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can attempt to take advantage of many systems that individuals as a society set up to protect the rights of those that need such protection. For example, 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 own 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 purpose of promoting access and equality for all.
In the end, you can not control any system to make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few individuals who scam service animal laws will be the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled inside the great condition of California have equal access under law.