VA Service Dogs
VA Altering Regulations to Accommodate Service Dogs (CREDIT: DoD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo.)

VA Altering Regulations to Accommodate Service Dogs

The proposed amendment would open VA property to all service dogs, as opposed to the current regulation of only seeing eye dogs.

The U.S. Veterans Affairs Department has proposed an amendment to its regulation regarding the presence of animals on VA property.

According to Military Times:

In a proposed change to regulations, VA plans to let service dogs into its facilities and medical centers as long as they are under the control of their handlers and the animal is trained to perform a task for a person with a disability, including physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disabilities.’

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Current policy holds that VA facilities are required to let in only seeing eye dogs; facilities managers have discretion to open their buildings to other dogs.

The proposed change is more liberal than a law passed in 2012, which required VA to let in seeing eye dogs, mobility dogs and other guide dogs that have been trained and accredited by an organization that evaluates guide dogs and service dogs.

Comments on the proposed change must be received by VA on or before Jan. 20, 2015. Comments are open on the Federal Register website.

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