VA To Resume PTSD Service Dog Study - Forbes
The Department of Veterans Affairs plans to restart a study evaluating the use of service dogs to assist veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The study was suspended in August 2012, for the second time, when VA alleged that a vendor violated its contract and endangered the health of its dogs. At the time, according to my reporting for The Atlantic, VA had paired 17 veterans with service dogs. The goal of the study, which was mandated by Congress in 2009, was to serve as many as 200 veterans.
VA expected to resume the study in less than a year, following an investigation and changes to the study design.
In early November of this year, the agency indicated it was ready to revive the study when it published a request for market research from service dog organizations. Gina Jackson, a national VA spokeswoman, confirmed to me that the study will be restarted, with the first new dog pairings scheduled to take place as soon as May 2014.
The appeal, otherwise known as a “request for information,” indicates that VA is prepared to make significant changes to the study.
The contract for service dog providers, for instance, will be five years instead of three. One of the new stipulations requires dogs to meet standards set by Assistance Dogs International or the American Kennel Club. There are now strict rules prohibiting the non-profit provider from requesting financial support or donations from a veteran, a concern that had been raised in the study’s previous iteration.
The study will also include emotional support dogs in addition to service dogs. The former may have a therapeutic effect, but is not covered by the American Disabilities Act, which guarantees the right of a service dog owner to bring his or her animal into private or public facilities.
So there's alot more to the story you can read for yourself at the link I posted above ... my question is regarding this statement:
One of the new stipulations requires dogs to meet standards set by Assistance Dogs International or the American Kennel Club.
Ok, WHAT?!?! The AKC 'standards' talk about what a specific breed should look like. From the little I have read on the ADI website they talk about the HOWS of service dogs.
How could those two organizations possibly have similar 'standards'. The new stipulation says " ... meet standards set by Assistance Dogs International OR
the American Kennel Club.
So, in theory, I could use an English Bull Dog as a service dog even if it was dog and human aggressive because it meets the AKC standards.
Sounds like someone was NOT doing their research!! Why don't they have dog knowledgeable people making the rules??