Sunday, May 20, 2018

PTSD veterans with service dogs need to pay attention

This is our dog Murray. He is not a service dog. He is a lot of things, but he has not bee trained to be a service dog.

As much as I love taking him places with us, I need to understand that there are others afraid of him. After all, his head is up to my hip. Yep, a big boy! That thing behind him is a tile cutter, so you can judge his size.

Ok, that said, this is from the ADA
Q4. If someone's dog calms them when having an anxiety attack, does this qualify it as a service animal?
A. It depends. The ADA makes a distinction between psychiatric service animals and emotional support animals. If the dog has been trained to sense that an anxiety attack is about to happen and take a specific action to help avoid the attack or lessen its impact, that would qualify as a service animal. However, if the dog's mere presence provides comfort, that would not be considered a service animal under the ADA.

Q5. Does the ADA require service animals to be professionally trained?
A. No. People with disabilities have the right to train the dog themselves and are not required to use a professional service dog training program.
Q6. Are service-animals-in-training considered service animals under the ADA?
A. No. Under the ADA, the dog must already be trained before it can be taken into public places. However, some State or local laws cover animals that are still in training.
The law is not very clear and there needs to be a lot more members of Congress-State and Federal-to get this right, make it clear and make sure there are penalties for people just wanting to "fake service dog" giving real ones a bad reputation. Want to lose your rights? That is the surest way it will happen.

This is your right and your obligation.

Ohio veteran cited for bringing his service dog to VA hospital
By: NBC4 Staff
Updated: May 20, 2018

CINCINNATI (WCMH) - A military veteran in Ohio has a service dog to help him deal with his PTSD, but the vet got in legal trouble when he brought the dog with him to a VA hospital.

Brandon Rimmer calls his 4-month-old lab Old Glory his service dog for post-traumatic stress disorder.

"The dog is a medical necessity. I'm covered by the ADA," he said.

Rimmer was a K-9 handler in the Air Force. He served two combat tours in explosive detection.

"You can't adjust back to civilian life. You can't explain it unless you've experienced it."

When Rimmer was admitted to the Cincinnati VA hospital for tests Wednesday, Old Glory went with him.

But, that resulted in the VA Police issuing a citation to federal court.

"My PTSD service dog, it's not recognized by the VA," he said. "It's recognized by the ADA, but it's not recognized by the VA. So, I'm in violation of federal law."

Cincinnati VA police chief David Bartos told WCPO he believes the dog is a puppy, not a service animal trained to perform tasks for the disabled.

"Emotional support is not a task," Bartos said, citing national VA guidelines.

That's where things get confusing. ADA guidelines say a service animal can be used to calm people with PTSD.

Different federal agencies have differing regulations.
read more here

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