Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs5750760
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are now being abused by those that want to scam the machine.
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 device. You hear some complain they had to sit near a dog at a restaurant which they don't believe is really a "real" service dog, varieties complain that the neighbors use a pet in the "no pet" building since they claimed the pet is emotional support animal letter.
A number of the commentary has an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
So how exactly does this affect those who legitimately own and use a service animal to raised their lives? In lots of ways.
For one, it could it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of your disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If your landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the machine, it can cause these to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business owners have begun requesting proof of status, although asking for written or other evidence isn't necessarily legal, and even though many people who just love legitimate service animals and emotional support animals have not 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 companies 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 when the owner can certainly produce a simple document which will often fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it is usually easier to hand over a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting the other party see the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, do some people scam the machine, or game the law? Sadly, the answer is "probably yes." In everyday life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can make an effort to take advantage of many systems that we as a society applied to protect the rights of people who need such protection. For instance, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to benefit from free and convenient parking. Not to mention the number of people that lie on the tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse retail store return policies, or do other bad acts.
However that percentage of abuse, which in the area of service animal laws is hopefully small, might just be a very small investment when compared to the higher purpose of promoting access and equality for those.
In the end, you can not 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 condition of California have equal access under law.