Why doesn’t the VA provide service dogs?

Big RewardI have written a bit lately about service animals (such as seeing eye dogs, as well as dogs for disabled individuals with seizure disorders and children with autism).

I recently came upon an article asking the question why doesn’t the Department of Veterans Affairs provide money for service dogs?  There is no question about the benefits provided to disabled individuals by service animals.

… while the VA talks about “providing” dogs, the only thing they’ve really been trying to decide is whether to pay the same monthly stipend to disabled veterans with a service dog that they’ve been paying to those with guide dogs for many years.  That’s it – there’s been no intent (and that I’m aware of there still isn’t) to “pay for service dogs” the way some describe it, i.e., fund organizations who train assistance dogs.

There was a January 2008 memo signed by the former Secretary which summarized their position. …  I’ve read the memo, but I’ve got something even better for you – the man behind the memo describing the VA thinking about service dogs in his own words a few months later.

Fred Downs, the VA’s Chief Consultant, Prosthetics and Sensory Aids did an hour-long interview with Brian Lamb for C-SPAN on June 5th, 2008, during which he discussed many things, including his handling of the service dog issue.  You can watch the video below – skip to the 51:20 mark which is where the pertinent section starts.

Click the link: Al Brittain to read the entire article and watch the linked video.

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About Tomasz Stasiuk

Tomasz Stasiuk is a Colorado Springs Social Security disability lawyer and the founding attorney of the Stasiuk Firm - a law firm specializing in Social Security disability cases in Colorado. Follow Tomasz Stasiuk on Google and Twitter

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  • deniselackey

    I've been wondering the same thing. I've been a dog trainer for over 20yrs and would like to VOLUNTEER my training abilities to help vets train a service dog for themselves but don't have any idea about how to find these vets!
    If anyone could help me with this please respond to crittertim@aol.com
    This will be at no charge

  • deniselackey

    I've been wondering the same thing. I've been a dog trainer for over 20yrs and would like to VOLUNTEER my training abilities to help vets train a service dog for themselves but don't have any idea about how to find these vets!
    If anyone could help me with this please respond to crittertim@aol.com
    This will be at no charge

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