This entry was posted on Friday, October 12th, 2012 at 2:42 pm and is filed under Podcasts, PTSD, Service Dog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Federal law, Fort Bliss and Assistance Dogs International make for a crazy mix of information – none of it good news for members of the military who have or need a service dog. First there is the issue of the VA refusing to pay for veterans’ psychiatric service dogs, commonly known as PTSD dogs. For pretty good understanding of this issue, read NBC’s article “VA won’t cover costs of service dogs assigned for PTSD treatment”. Next, Federal law. On August 6, 2012, President Obama signed into law the “Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012″. The two parts of this act referred to in its name are good news for the military and fairly well publicized. However, buried in the 45-page document is this: “SEC. 109. USE OF SERVICE DOGS ON PROPERTY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS. Section 901 is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection: H. R. 1627—11. ‘(f)(1) The Secretary may not prohibit the use of a covered service dog in any facility or on any property of the Department or in any facility or on any property that receives funding from the Secretary.’ and ‘(2) For purposes of this subsection, a covered service dog is a service dog that has been trained by an entity that is accredited by an appropriate accrediting body that evaluates and accredits organizations which train guide or service dogs.’’. Next, Fort Bliss. Read the Dog Law Reporter’s post called “Fort Bliss Adopts Draconian Measures to Enforce Army’s Service Dog Policy” to get a good feel for the sheer insanity of the Fort Bliss policy. And finally, Assistance Dogs International. Somewhere along the line, the military decided somebody has to accredit service dogs working alongside military personnel. Because there is no other option, they chose ADI. This episode of Bark Radio is about why that makes no sense. In all this mess there is one truth. The people who lose are those who have given the most: active duty and retired military who need service dogs to enhance the quality of their lives and help them through each and every day.