Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs7256329
Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by those that want to scam the machine.
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 system. You hear some complain they had to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant which they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, forms of languages complain their neighbors use a pet in the "no pet" building simply because they claimed the animal is emotional support animal registration.
Some of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
How does this affect those that legitimately own and use a service animal to raised their lives? In several ways.
For one, it can it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of the disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If your landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the machine, it can cause these to look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun requesting proof of status, even though asking for written or another evidence might not be legal, and although many owners of 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 companies that make registrations services just like the Service Animal Registry of California so vital to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can benefit shortcut the housing rental and business access issues when the owner can create a simple document that may often fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it is often easier to give a document using a simple sentence stating, "This can be 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 system, or game the law? 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 individuals as a society set up to protect the rights of those who need such protection. For example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to benefit from free and convenient parking. As well as the number of people who lie on the 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, might just be a very small price to pay when compared to the higher purpose of promoting access and equality for all.
In the end, you cannot control any system making it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few individuals who scam service animal laws may be the price we gladly pay to make sure that the disabled within the great condition of California have equal access under law.