Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs2887547
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are now being abused by people who want to scam the system.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces and other editorials where people rant and complain about people they believe to be abusing the system. You hear some complain that they to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant that they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, forms of languages complain that their neighbors use a pet inside a "no pet" building because they claimed your pet is emotional support animal registration.
Some of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
How can this affect people who legitimately own and employ a service animal to higher their lives? In several ways.
For one, it can it harder to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of the disability as well as 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 device, it can cause these to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun requesting 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 thus have no such documentation to make.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and business people that make registrations services like the Service Animal Registry of California so important legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can help shortcut the housing rental and business access issues if the owner can produce a simple document which will often fulfill 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 really 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 places, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, do some people scam the system, or game what the law states? Sadly, the reply is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and people 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 example, 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 tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse shop 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 purpose of promoting access and equality for many.
In the end, you cannot control any system to really make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few individuals who scam service animal laws may be the price we gladly pay to ensure that the disabled in the great state of California have equal access under law.