Wed, Aug 08 2012 at 2:08 PM
This article is not entirely accurate. The statement "PTSD-trained dogs are often considered therapy dogs under the ADA" is just flat-out wrong. A therapy dog is a dog that visits facilities such as nursing homes and hospitals to provide emotional support to residents. What the writer probably meant to say was that PTSD-trained dogs are often considered emotional support animals under the ADA, but that is factually inaccurate, too. The ADA specifically covers animals used for psychiatric disabilities. You don't have to be disabled to have an emotional support dog, but you do have to live with a documented disability to have a service dog, and the dog must be trained in work or tasks that mitigate that disability. The law does not specify the nature or source of the training, although the VA is now going to be able to legally write policy excluding all but a very small minority of service dogs used by veterans. It should outrage every American that our military veterans would be protected under federal law within any non-VA medical facility, and yet the very agency set up to serve them is hell-bent on discriminating against them.