Sadly, many people are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by people who want to scam the device.
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 that they had to sit near your pet dog at a restaurant which they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, or others complain their neighbors possess a pet in the "no pet" building since they claimed the pet is emotional support animal letter.
A number of the commentary comes with an indignant tone, plus some people are downright angry.
How can this affect those that legitimately own and make use of 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 a disability as well as your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. In case a landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that many people are abusing the device, it can cause them to look suspiciously in any way claimants.
Some landlord and companies have begun asking for proof of status, although asking for written or another evidence might not be legal, and although 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 produce.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and business people that make registrations services such as 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 once the owner can certainly produce a simple document which will often fulfill the owner or landlord. Also, when working with public spaces, it's easier to hand over a document using a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting one other party read the information, rather than having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public, with onlookers listening in and gathering round the discussion.
So, carry out some people scam the device, or game the law? Sadly, the answer then is "probably yes." In life, there is always room for abuse and people can try to take advantage of many systems that individuals as a society applied 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. As well as the number of folks who 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 around service animal laws is hopefully small, is arguably a very small investment when compared to the higher purpose of promoting access and equality for all.
In the end, you cannot control any system making it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the few people 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.