Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs9599896
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by those who want to scam the device.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces along with other editorials where people rant and complain about people they feel to be abusing the system. You hear some complain they had to sit near your dog at a restaurant that they don't believe is a "real" service dog, or others complain that their neighbors possess a pet in a "no pet" building since they claimed the pet is emotional support animal.
A few of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
How does this affect people who legitimately own and employ a service animal to higher their lives? In many ways.
For one, it could 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. In case a landlord or business owner has heard negative stories claiming that some individuals are abusing the machine, it can cause these to look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun seeking proof of status, despite the fact that asking for written or any other evidence isn't necessarily legal, 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 create.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and companies that make registrations services like the Service Animal Registry of California so vital to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it will also help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues once the owner can create a simple document which will often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it is usually easier to hand over a document with a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting the other party see the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public areas, 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 individuals can try to take advantage of many systems that individuals as a society put in place to protect the rights of those that need such protection. For instance, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to take advantage of free and convenient parking. Not forgetting the number of folks who lie on their own tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse shop return policies, or do other bad acts.
However that percentage of abuse, which around service animal laws is hopefully small, is arguably a very small investment when compared to the higher objective of promoting access and equality for those.
In the end, you can not control any system making it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few people who scam service animal laws will be the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled in the great state of California have equal access under law.