Sadly, some people are asking whether "service animal" laws are now 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 think to be abusing the system. You hear some complain that they had to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant they don't believe is a "real" service dog, or others complain that their neighbors possess a pet inside a "no pet" building because they claimed the animal 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 employ a service animal to raised their lives? In many ways.
For one, it may it more difficult to navigate bureaucracy around the globe when your claim of the disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. In case a landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that some individuals are abusing the system, it can cause them to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun requesting proof of status, despite the fact that 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 never have 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 vital to legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can benefit shortcut the housing rental and business access issues once the owner can certainly produce a simple document which will often match the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it's easier to give over a document using a simple sentence stating, "This can be a service animal" and letting another party read the information, rather than having a long-winded protracted conversation (or worse, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering around the discussion.
So, perform some people scam the machine, or game the law? 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 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 take advantage of free and convenient parking. Not forgetting the number of people that lie on their 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, is arguably a very small investment when compared to the higher goal of promoting access and equality for all.
In the end, you cannot control any system to make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few individuals 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.