Animals on VA Property
A Proposed Rule by the Veterans Affairs Department on 11/21/2014
This document has a comment period that ends in 18 days (01/20/2015)
ACTION Proposed Rule.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposes to amend its regulation regarding the presence of animals on VA property. Current VA regulation authorizes the presence of seeing-eye dogs on VA property and other animals as authorized at the discretion of a VA facility head or designee. However, applicable Federal law authorizes the presence of guide dogs and other service animals when these animals accompany individuals with disabilities seeking admittance to buildings or property owned or operated by the Federal Government. This proposed rule would expand the current VA regulation to be consistent with applicable Federal law, and would clarify the authority of a VA facility head or designee to allow nonservice animals to be present on VA property.
"Nonservice animals" ????? Is this another layer of mud in the water? Looks like they are still considering PSDs as a "nonservice animal". Dragging and muttering their way into accepting what the vets want and only if they have to?
"trained" vrs "educated" dogs? And it takes a legal degree with the assistance of a team to understand all of the sections, in compliance, subsequent, otherwise accessible, proposed revisions, pursuant to, consistent with, on the same terms and conditions, and subject to the same regulations, as generally govern, can be interpreted to allow (does this mean there is a choice in the interpretation)?
And how about the following which makes me wonder did a team actually sit down and come up with this wording or was it the work of a committee who each submitted a part of a sentence and demand it be put together as one?
"which is inconsistent with both section 3103(a) and section 109. We would therefore revise our regulation to be consistent with the requirements in section 3103(a) and section 109. We also note that these revisions would be consistent with the remainder of § 1.218 and § 1.220, as well as consistent with VA regulations that ensure accessibility for programs or activities conducted by VA, 38 CFR 15.101 et al."
And it only gets better with: "The proposed revisions to 38 CFR 1.218(a)(11) would establish nationally applicable criteria regarding the presence of service animals on VA property, to ensure that our regulations cannot be interpreted in a manner that conflicts with section 3103(a), section 109, §§ 1.218 and 1.220, or § 15.101 et al. We note that section 3103(b) specifically authorizes the Secretary of VA to prescribe regulations that are necessary in the public interest to carry out section 3103(a) as it applies to any building or other property subject to VA's jurisdiction, and VA is otherwise authorized to prescribe rules to protect persons and property on VA property under 38 U.S.C. 901."
I'm not trying to treat this as a joke, but how many lay people or even those with a major interest such as our wounded vets are going to be able to read and educate themselves on this proposed change? How many are going to be able to come back and address their concerns in such a way to make their voices heard?