Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Guide Dogs803189
Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by those that 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 that they had to sit near a dog at a restaurant which they don't believe is a "real" service dog, varieties complain their neighbors possess a pet in the "no pet" building simply because they claimed the pet is emotional support animal.
Some of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, and a few people are downright angry.
How can this affect those that legitimately own and make use of a service animal to raised their lives? In many ways.
For one, it could it harder to navigate bureaucracy on the planet when your claim of a disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If your landlord or business proprietor has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the device, it can cause them to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun requesting proof of status, despite the fact that asking for written or other evidence is not always legal, and 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 produce.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and business people 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 when the owner can create a simple document that may often match the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it is often easier to hand over a document with a simple sentence stating, "This is really a service animal" and letting one other party see the information, rather than having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public areas, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, carry out some people scam the device, or game regulations? Sadly, the answer is "probably yes." In your life, there is always room for abuse and people can make an effort 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 benefit from free and convenient parking. Not to mention 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 the area of service animal laws is hopefully small, might just be a very small price to pay when compared to the higher goal of promoting access and equality for those.
In the end, you can not control any system to really make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few people who scam service animal laws will be the price we gladly pay to make sure that the disabled in the great condition of California have equal access under law.