California's new law tightens regulations around emotional support animals

Originally published at: California's new law tightens regulations around emotional support animals | Boing Boing


Well I say GOOD, because unlike physical disabilities, mental health is imaginary. You can’t see it at all!


Maybe you’re making a joke here (probably)… but of course, mental health is a serious issue that needs to be addressed… Doesn’t mean there should not be regulations around things like emotional support animals, but if having an animal helps people feel better, I’m really for it.


Thanks, just what I wanted someone doing the 20 questions when I enter a business with my service animal. This does nothing for the folks with an active service animal, but it sure empowers the sort of person that wants to ruin your day.

BTW: This is why we can’t have nice things.

Update: Dear Wife has already sewn these on my dog’s vest. Now I need one for me I guess…


Agreed. This is coming about solely because all of the selfish assholes abusing provisions meant to ease the difficulty of day-to-day life for so many people.

In general, I agree, but up to the point it infringes on others’ comfort and safety. Service animals are highly trained and disciplined while “emotional support” animals are just pets that people decide they want to carry around. There are very few clinical applications and federal regulations explicitly exclude them from ADA regulations. Also, dogs are the only recognized service animals, not peacocks, raccoons or any of the other bullshit I’ve heard of people claiming they need.


Good points. Trained service dogs are meticulously acclimated to people and crowds and are selected to be calm and stable even in stressful situations. Uncertified “emotional service” animals are often poorly trained and cannot deal properly with crowds or strange people. This is especially unfair to people who are afraid of dogs, which is a completely valid emotional reaction. These people shouldn’t be encountering something that compromises their sense of personal safety in what are supposed to be safe public spaces.


Er, wrong: horses also can be service animals.



I’ve been dragged numerous times here on BBS for daring to say that my kids’ legitimate fear of dogs (from 6+ bites cumulative, two bloody) is reason enough for me to not give a shit how much someone trusts their dog, I don’t. Animal “owners” seem to take a “properly trained gun owners” level of exception to the idea that maybe other people don’t like their dog as much as they do.


Miniature horses. But yeah, they are listed, but with an entirely different set of provisions.


No amount of support for feeling better can compensate for dirty shitholes on the shopping cart that later holds my food.


Can we get a new law tightens regulations around over emotional/irrational human animals, seems only fair considering the state of things.

My deepest apologies to the over emotional/irrational human animals.


The distinction isn’t meant to assert that physical disabilities are inherently more important than mental/emotional disabilities, it’s a recognition that one group of animals is subject to strict training and certification while the other is not.

If a restaurant patron or airline passenger is terrified of dogs, they can at least take comfort in the knowledge that a certified service dog is required to undergo strict training to ensure it’s not going to jump up and snap at them. A pet designated as an emotional support animal comes with no such assurances.


Just tell me I can’t bring my emotional support puppy in to the office.



When you hear “California”, which way did you think the law would go:
To make it more strict, so that, in fairness, only “true” service animals apply.
To make it more inclusive, so that almost all animals are allowed, if owner considers them as such.

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IIRC you are both a restaurateur and a health inspector. Restaurants can be fined for allowing pets in food service areas. And they can be fined for not allowing legit service animals in food service areas. Shouldn’t restaurants have some legal way to tell the difference since they can be fined if they get it wrong?


My instinct would be strict. California has led the way with a lot of restrictive legislation aimed at curbing industrial and private abuse. Almost always for good reasons, but still fairly strict overall.

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Yes. And I’d argue that maybe we need to stop letting a few assholes ruin everything…

Maybe, and I understand that they should not have the same protections/access that service animals have, but maybe we shouldn’t assume that the people who have emotional support animals are merely entitled assholes?

They do seem to be a much bigger problem right now…


While there are plenty of instances where people abuse the idea of emotional support animals, it’s not really right to paint everybody with such a broad brush with statements like that.


I’m retired from both, I never questioned a person ever in my career regarding a service animal, that spans near 5 decades. It is illegal and I believe immoral to add insult to injury to a disabilities person with a service animal to overtly single them out. I’ve closely read ever comment on this topic, it has revealed more ignorance than I was prepared for. Please walk a few paces in a disabled persons life, it may help us all to be better humans in this most auspicious time of the year when we’re all supposed to be loving our fellow humans.


If “terrified” is the emotion being supported, then yep.