Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs9724549
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by people who want to scam the system.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces as well as other editorials where people rant and complain about people they feel to be abusing the device. You hear some complain they had to sit near a dog at a restaurant which they don't believe is a "real" service dog, or others complain that the neighbors have a pet inside a "no pet" building simply because they claimed the animal is esa letter.
Some of the commentary has an indignant tone, plus some people are downright angry.
How does this affect people who legitimately own and use a service animal to higher their lives? In many ways.
For one, it may it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy of the world when your claim of the disability along with your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If your landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that some individuals are abusing the device, it can cause them to look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun requesting proof of status, even though asking for written or other evidence is not always legal, and even though many owners of legitimate service animals and emotional support animals never have 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 fundamental to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues once the owner can certainly produce a simple document that will often satisfy the owner or landlord. Also, when utilizing public spaces, it is often easier to give over a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting the other party browse the information, rather than having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse yet, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, do some people scam the machine, or game regulations? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and people can attempt to take advantage of many systems that individuals as a society put in place to protect the rights of those that need such protection. As an example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to take advantage of free and convenient parking. As well as the number of people that lie on their tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse store 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 many.
In the end, you can't control any system to make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the not enough people who scam service animal laws is the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled in the great state of California have equal access under law.