Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs6890914
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are being abused by people 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 feel to be abusing the machine. You hear some complain they had to sit near your dog at a restaurant that they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, or others complain that the neighbors possess a pet in a "no pet" building since they claimed the pet is esa letter.
Some of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
So how exactly does this affect those who legitimately own and use a service animal to higher their lives? In many ways.
For one, it can it more challenging to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of your disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. In case a landlord or business proprietor has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the device, it can cause them 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 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 produce.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and business people that make registrations services like the Service Animal Registry of California so important legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues when the owner can produce a simple document which will often fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it is usually easier to give a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting the other party see the information, rather than 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 device, 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 we as a society put in place to protect the rights of people who need such protection. As an example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to take advantage of free and convenient parking. Not to mention the number of people that lie on the tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse shop 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 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 make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few individuals who scam service animal laws will be the price we gladly pay to make sure that the disabled within the great condition of California have equal access under law.