Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs7585090
Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are being abused by those that want to scam the system.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces and other editorials where people rant and complain about people they think to be abusing the device. You hear some complain they had to sit near a dog at a restaurant they don't believe is a "real" service dog, or others complain that the neighbors have a pet inside a "no pet" building since they claimed your pet is esa doctors near me.
A few of the commentary has an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
How can this affect those who legitimately own and employ a service animal to better their lives? In many ways.
For one, it may it harder to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of a disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If a landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the device, it can cause these phones look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun seeking proof of status, although asking for written or 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 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 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 if the owner can produce a simple document that may often fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it's easier to give over a document using a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting another party browse the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering around the discussion.
So, do some people scam the device, or game what the law states? Sadly, the answer is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and people can make an effort to take advantage of many systems that people as a society applied 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. Not forgetting the number of people that lie on the tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse store return policies, or do other bad acts.
But that percentage of abuse, which in service animal laws is hopefully small, is arguably a very small price to pay when compared to the higher goal of promoting access and equality for many.
In the end, you can not control any system to really make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few people who scam service animal laws may be the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled in the great state of California have equal access under law.