Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs3161460
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are being abused by people who want to scam the machine.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces and other editorials where people rant and complain about people they think to be abusing the system. You hear some complain that they to sit near your dog at a restaurant that they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, or others complain their neighbors have a pet in the "no pet" building because they claimed the pet is emotional support animal letter.
A number of the commentary has an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
How does this affect those who legitimately own and make use of a service animal to better their lives? In lots of ways.
For one, it can it more challenging to navigate bureaucracy on the planet when your claim of your disability along with 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 device, it can cause these to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun seeking proof of status, even though asking for written or other evidence is not always legal, and although many owners of legitimate service animals and emotional support animals haven't taken advantage of registering them, and therefore 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 will also help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues once the owner can produce a simple document that will often fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it is usually easier to give a document with a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting one other party see the information, instead of having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, do some people scam the system, or game the law? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In your 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 who need such protection. For example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to take advantage of free and convenient parking. As well as the number of people who lie on their own 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, is arguably a very small price to pay when compared to the higher objective of promoting access and equality for many.
In the end, you cannot control any system making it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the not enough people who scam service animal laws may be the price we gladly pay to make sure that the disabled inside the great state of California have equal access under law.