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Old 08-03-2012, 08:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default VA Revised Regulations

Bolding is mine

Quote:
In 2009, Congress authorized VA to provide service dogs for the aid
of persons with mental illnesses by amending section 1714. Although VA
welcomes the possibility that trained dogs may provide valuable
services to veterans diagnosed with certain mental illness, at this
time we do not have any scientific data to determine, from a purely
clinical standpoint, whether or when service dogs are most
appropriately provided to veterans with mental illness, including post-
traumatic stress disorder. In the National Defense Authorization Act
for Fiscal Year 2010, Pub. L. 111-84 (2009), Congress mandated
a 3-year study on the effectiveness of dogs for mental health
purposes. The results of this study will help us learn more about
the services that trained dogs can provide for veterans diagnosed
with mental health conditions. Upon the completion of the study
and analysis of its results, VA may revise its regulations in order
to provide this service to our veterans.

... we would recognize service dogs obtained through an organization
that is accredited by Assistance Dogs International (ADI) or the
International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF). ... ADI has established an
accreditation procedure for service dog organizations, setting minimum
standards for safety and cleanliness of the training facility, fair and ethical
treatment of clients, proper health care for the dogs, humane training
methods, screening the suitability of dogs and clients, matching dogs and
clients, and compliance with all relevant laws. ADI does not accredit
organizations that provide guide dogs--ADI only does so for service-dog
organizations that train dogs to perform services for individuals with conditions
other than blindness. Accreditation of guide-dog programs is done by
IGDF, with whom ADI has a joint protocol. ... IGDF does not accredit any
non-guide dog programs. IGDF is an international coalition of member
organizations. IGDF is committed to improving the guide dog industry throughout
the world and has published standards that cover a wide range of activities
conducted by guide dog organizations, such as organizational structure,
fundraising, recordkeeping, technical matters relating to dog health and welfare,
dog and client training, and school facilities.

VA has reviewed ADI's and IGDF's standards thoroughly, and we
believe that they represent appropriate criteria for training and placing guide
and service dogs. ... We note that there are no Federal
regulations governing the training of guide or service dogs, and VA
does not have the expertise, experience, or resources to develop
independent criteria. Therefore, we would rely on ADI and IGDF
accreditation to conclude that a dog is qualified and capable of
performing the tasks that are clinically required ...

For dogs acquired before the effective date of this rule, we would
require the veteran to provide a certificate showing that the veteran
and dog have completed a training course offered by a guide or service
dog organization in existence before such date. We would limit this
authority to organizations that existed before the effective date of
the regulation. The purpose of this paragraph is to ensure that
veterans who obtained dogs prior to the publication of this regulation,
but not through ADI or IGDF accredited organizations, would be eligible
for the benefits prescribed by this regulation. We would allow veterans
who obtained dogs through such non-accredited organizations up
to 1 year after the effective date of this rule to obtain the required
certification.


To read in full go to http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...part-17-a.html
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Last edited by ILGHAUS; 08-03-2012 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 08-03-2012, 08:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If you have been tracking this via other SD forums, Facebook Pages & Groups, etc. you will see that the passage of this is not going to be smooth sailing. There are petitions circulating and requests for people to contact the President, Congress, and the military on this subject.

There are many pros and cons out there and opinions by both sides are getting louder ...
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Old 08-03-2012, 08:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Bolding mine.

Quote:
But across the country, the military recently adopted a stricter policy surrounding service dogs. Many are not allowed inside the gates without very specific behavioral training. The new rules all stem from an incident that happened just outside Ft. Campbell last January; when a 6 year old Kentucky boy was mauled to death by a trained and certified PTSD dog.

Ft. Campbell Enforcing Stricter Rules For Service Dogs - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports



Reporting such as this is not quite accurate as we can see from the first post that I made that Congress requested a 3 year study to be made prior to this.

Quote:
In the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, Pub. L. 111-84 (2009), Congress mandated a 3-year study on the effectiveness of dogs for mental health purposes. ... Upon the completion of the study and analysis of its results, VA may revise its regulations ...
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Bold is mine

Quote:
Dazzle licked his face then tapped a paw on his chest, a task the dog was trained to perform.

---- Licking and pawing a trained task?
I can remember around the age of 9 or so my pet dog licking, nudging, and pawing at me when I would cry. My current pet dogs will do the same now whenever I'm upset over something. I really hope that this was just something the handler mentioned and was taken out of context by the reporter and not one of the dog's "main tasks".

"The crime deterrent effects of an animalīs presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.”
From The Dept. of Justice, SD Definition



Quote:
Sapp is also concerned about the proliferation of upstart organizations that are trying to meet the growing demand for PTSD service dogs, but don't have years of experience in the field and aren't accredited by Assistance Dogs International, one of the industry's only standard-setting groups. Matching a service dog to the right owner takes time, Sapp said, and should be followed up regularly with evaluations for both the animal and the client. That requires resources and infrastructure that many newer organizations lack, Sapp said.

---- Many of us involved with SDs are very concerned over the number of "SD trainers" and "SD organizations" popping up around the country without suitable background such as a knowledge of the law, SD training, and work experience in the field. It really worries me when I see the trainers in an organization touting that they are CGC Evaluators (which should be only a minor point) and that the head trainer's resume shows that their highest certification or training level is as a "Pet Dog Trainer".

One of the organizations that is mentioned in this article has been brought to my attention from several sources which has raised red flags with me. I will not mention the name of that organization but if someone did enough digging through the Internet they may also be concerned. One of the main dogs owned and used as a foundation sire has a history of off-spring with the same genetic disorder. A dog trainer that I personally know, from another organization, has already worked with three dogs from this one particular SD organization on dog aggression issues. This outside dog trainer also told me that she was not even impressed with the dogs' obedience training and had to help at least one new handler to where the dog would walk properly and not pull the handler around the room.



Quote:
"They have to convince the dog the world is a safe place, rather than letting the dog prove to them that the world is a safe place," Yount said.

---- I cannot agree with this person's statement. A PSD must have rock solid nerves and a very high work ethic and not let normal activities of life affect their work. A dog with such a concern such as the world around him not being safe has no business being any type of SD.


http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012...-research-lags
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Dazzle is out of the program I foster for. I honestly don't know much about the requirements and training, we're not a training home, just foster dogs that are rescued for the program before they go to training. Have you ever checked them out? They are in Williston.
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Angry President signed into law Monday

Quote:
Originally Posted by ILGHAUS View Post
If you have been tracking this via other SD forums, Facebook Pages & Groups, etc. you will see that the passage of this is not going to be smooth sailing. There are petitions circulating and requests for people to contact the President, Congress, and the military on this subject.

There are many pros and cons out there and opinions by both sides are getting louder ...
Not loud enough, I'm afraid. The President signed this bill into law day before yesterday. Now I'm just waiting for the VA to jump on this and propose a regulation denying access to any veteran paired with a non-ADI dog, which constitute the majority of VA clients with SD's. As we all know, this would be illegal if enacted by any non-VA medical facility, but for some reason, Cabinet-level agencies are exempt from ADA compliance.

I am among that group, and if VA facilities are forced to adopt that policy, I will lose access to any type of medical care, including lab tests, prescriptions, mental health services, etc. It's hard for me to believe that my own senator, Patty Murray, chair of the Senate VA Committee, is the one that pushed this language, ignoring the many protests and petitions that have been circulating. One has to wonder whose palm is getting greased here...

Meanwhile, nobody can answer what's supposed to happen to VA clients in my position. Shameful that in an era where officials sit in their ivory towers wringing their hands over an out-of-control military suicide rate, the VA is actively seeking ways to keep veterans from getting the help they need.
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Old 08-24-2012, 05:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by LuckyCharm View Post

Meanwhile, nobody can answer what's supposed to happen to VA clients in my position.
Contact the Seattle Vet Center,

2030 - 9th Ave. Suite 210
Seattle, WA 98121
206-553-2706

They helped me obtain my (nonADI-certified) dog, and encourage me to bring him with me to _all_ my appointments. They can help you obtain services for your PTSD anywhere in the state. They also have a dog on staff who de-stresses my dog while I'm there for my appointments, and can help you with prescriptions as well.

Technically they are part of the VA, even though they operate completely separately. They claim to have been formed because 'The VA sucks at helping people with PTSD, so they had to pass a law and make us to do a better job, the problem is no one knows about us. We are the best kept secret of the VA, how did you find out about us?'

The VA hospitals, and VA Administration (the folks in the federal building) will NEVER tell you about these guys. I found out about them from a 3rd party. The _only_ information the main VA has about them is an address and phone number buried deep deep deep within their web pages with no explanation of what they are or what they do. It's almost like the guys in charge are trying to 'starve off' the one little outpost in their organization that is actually trying to help us. Besides the phone number/address on the VA main site, they have no web presence as their IT services are provided by 'big brother va' and they aren't allowed to do thier own web. However this mean they already have all your medical. All you have to do is walk in the door and show ID and they can help you out.

When I was struggling and homeless in college the VA offered me an 'internship' in one of their federal offices. They paid me to come in and refile a bunch(truck loads) of pending disabilities claims that had been hidden in training rooms when the prez came through. I wasn't allowed to bring my service animal with me, but I was allowed to use the elevator instead of the stairs & take frequent (short) breaks when my physical disability got to much for me. When my grades faltered due to emotional problems and inability to cope, (and inability to have my service animal around with me) they said good luck with that, and gave me the boot.

I wish the general public knew more about how the VA regards its vets At least some of them took me to the bar for our boss's retirement party and bought me a few drinks before I left. _most_ of the people who work at the VA really do care, but they are SO constrained by those who are over thier heads. They would spend hours working on each claim, and saw each and every disability they were able to approve as a personal victory they won on behalf of the vet, but had to worry that every single one was check, and double checked, and had to worry about them coming down on them for approving _anything_ that the vet 'didn't deserve' because that's not fair, oh and by the way you have a several year backlog so work faster faster faster.

One of their core ethics seems to be that it is wrong to be unfair to any vet, so it is 'fair' to be equally unhelpful to everyone. To be completely fair the VA won't lift a finger to help anyone unless the vet can prove they have to, or get someone else to go to bat for them and prove the vet deserves, and is required, to receive it. This is why pairing up with a service organization who will go to bat for you is vital.

Sometimes the trick is to find the right person or department to talk to. The right person at the hospital can get the right person in finances to pay for a er visit for example. The different departments WILL sometimes fight for you against other departments. (the doctors usually don't like the admin side(we are the ones really helping people, and the admin side don't care about vets just numbers), and the admin side generally don't like the hospital(they are so disorganized and always screw everything up, then we have to fix it and the vets suffer! plus they have no idea how many people we help outside the hospitals)) They also love to use deadlines to screw you out of the services you deserve so always be persistent.
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Just so you guys know also, it is extremely difficult to find an ADI authorized trainer to train a German Shepherd. I was told by several that they refuse German Shepherds because GSD's cannot be trusted and are too aggressive. They will, however, gladly breed a labradoodle and train it for you. They get kisckbacks for the dogs they breed for the program.
I have seen first hand how some of these dogs coming out of this program are. They are skittish and cannot be trusted with people.
Lucky for me, Hades does have a trainer to go to next year. This year is all socialization and familiarization, which I am doing here. He and I are going to the fair this weekend, both for fun and familiarization.
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