Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs7898798
Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are being abused by those who want to scam the device.
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 that they had to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant which they don't believe is a "real" service dog, forms of languages complain that the neighbors use a pet in the "no pet" building simply because they claimed the pet is emotional support animal letter.
Some of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, and a few 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 can it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy on the planet when your claim of your disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If your landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that some individuals are abusing the system, it can cause these phones look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun seeking proof of status, although asking for written or other evidence is not always legal, and although many those who own legitimate service animals and emotional support animals have not 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 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 will often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it is often easier to hand over a document using a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting another party read 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, carry out some people scam the device, or game what the law states? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In everyday life, there is always room for abuse and people can attempt to take advantage of many systems that we as a society set up to protect the rights of those who need such protection. As an example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to benefit from free and convenient parking. As well as the number of people that lie on their own tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse shop return policies, or do other bad acts.
But 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 goal of promoting access and equality for many.
In the end, you can't control any system making it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the not enough people who scam service animal laws is the price we gladly pay to ensure the disabled within the great state of California have equal access under law.