|About Service Dogs for Veteran's and what we're doing to help!
This section is still in Progress.... But, Here's what's happening so far...
Up to now it is understood that in order for a US Veteran to obtain a service dog, the cost of which is (so far) Not covered by any Veteran's Insurance Program or
Organization. The "Normal Cost" for obtaining such an animal is anywhere between $10,000-$35,000 depending on the training, the type of service, and the needs of the
Most veteran's benefits do not cover their already owned service dog's veterinary care.
Most Veterinary facilities do not offer any discounts to veteran's or service animals.
In 1987 Lady M Lenz Became Certified as an Animal Obedience Instructor - Since that time she has used that training to help The Neponset Valley Humane Society in their,
Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Release Program, taming the few feral Cats that were tamable, and adopting them out to forever homes. Following her 3 year Volunteer work at
Neponset Valley Humane Society M moved on to work with Animal Behaviourists at The MSPCA/Angel Animal Medical Center in Boston, MA for over 10 years Now using
that training to help others Certify their animals for K9 Good Citizen Testing and Service Support/Therapy Animals
|In many cases, dogs are not just valuable family members, but life-saving aides.
Working, Service and Therapy dogs are found all over the world in military and law enforcement agencies world, as well as hospitals, schools and homes.
There are many important differences between service dogs, therapy dogs, and emotional support dogs, but all have important duties and can be true life savers!
According to service dog education group, "Please Don’t Pet Me":
“Differentiating between, service dogs, therapy dogs and emotional support animals is not a matter of splitting hairs or political correctness. Each of these dogs has a very different job from the others and the terms are not
It Is important to understand that service dogs performing important and specific tasks can also double as emotional support for their handlers or owners.
However, dogs who might be informally trained in service-oriented tasks, does not make them “service dogs” in the eyes of the law.
What's Involved after obtaining an animal who will become a Service Dog?
The most important factor differentiating a service dog is training. Highly trained from six to eight weeks old, service dogs undergo rigorous individual instruction to learn disability-specific tasks.
For example, a service dog for a paraplegic person would be trained to retrieve dropped objects or assist getting in and out of a wheelchair. Extra care is given to the dog’s temperament and
personality; a calm, intelligent, fast-learning pup is the perfect candidate for a service dog.
Emotional support dogs, on the other hand, need no specific training. The only requirements for obtaining one is a verifiable disability, along with a explanatory note from your physician or other
mental health professional.
Therapy dogs are usually required by businesses and institutions to become certified or registered with an organization like Therapy Dogs International(TDI), which involves passing a test
simulating real-world situations dogs will encounter. It’s important for a therapy dog to be very sociable and friendly, as their tasks mainly involve being petted and providing a calming presence –
what a rough life! In addition, most therapy dog certification groups require basic to intermediate obedience lessons, with more specific requirements for places like hospitals and schools.
2. Legal Rights
Under the American Disabilities Act (ADA), service dogs are allowed to accompany their handlers in public places, even restaurants. Various other laws also protect the rights of service dogs
and their handlers; the Air Carrier Access Act prevents discrimination by airlines, and the Fair Housing Act prevents landlords from charging pet fees.
Therapy and emotional support dogs are not covered by the ADA, so businesses aren’t legally required to allow them inside if they have an existing no-pets policy. However, emotional support
animals are encompassed by the Fair Housing Act Amendments(FHAA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, which require landlords to make “reasonable accommodations” for those with
disabilities, including allowing pets in non-pet units. Because therapy dogs are usually not providing emotional support to their pet parent, but to others in nursing homes,children’s hospitals and
schools, they are excluded from the FHAA. Institutions that work with therapy dogs typically have their own separate rules and requirements.
Although there are many websites claiming to provide certification for emotional support dogs, all you need is proof of your disability, usually in the form of a letter from your diagnosing mental
health professional. Landlords, airlines and other institutions like schools or universities will often request a copy of this letter when making accommodations for you, so it’s very important!
There are many different organizations that register or certify therapy dogs. We mentioned TDI earlier, but check out the American Kennel Club’s handy list of every group in the U.S. The
certification process for therapy dogs typically involves a test of the animal’s obedience and temperament as well as the handler’s abilities.
Service dogs commonly wear bright or reflective vests, collars or leashes indicating their status. Surprisingly, the ADA does not require any kind of registration or certification for service dogs –
beware of websites ending in official-sounding .org’s claiming to provide these services! Many service dog training programs do issue certificates, but these only attest to the dog’s having
passed a test and are only recognized by certain non-government organizations or for travel purposes.
|4. Temperament and Personality
A Therapy dog needs to be affectionate and easygoing with no fear or aggression issues. Being able to handle any situation an owner or handler has is essential, as these animals can meet
numerous humans and other animals on the job and in settings like nursing homes, hospitals and schools.
Desirable characteristics in an emotional support dog are similar to those for therapy dogs, with a few exceptions. People seeking a dog for emotional support are looking for a loyal pet
who bonds easily; therapy dogs are more indiscriminate with their affection. Some dogs are very in-tune to their human’s emotions, some will lean against, or even try to hug or kiss a
Service dogs must remain stoic in loud or intense situations, like on busy streets or crowded coffee shops. Adaptability to a wide variety of situations is a must-have. Depending on the disability
of the handler, some dogs must have good physical strength to help with wheelchairs, while others are trained to recognize medical situations and alert others. PTSD service dogs are skilled at
distracting handlers from stressful environments and keeping them calm.
Emotional support dogs help maintain the mental wellbeing of their owner or handler, usually through contact, calm presence and or affection. Well-documented studies have proven the
mental health benefits of dogs and other animals. Some owners/handlers need the companionship of their emotional support dogs in public places; however, only service dogs are
covered by the ADA and emotional support dogs must comply with any no-dog policies posted in public locations.
|Different service dogs for different disabilities/Services:
* Mobility assistance dogs, as the title implies, help individuals who need assistance and can not move independently; including those in wheelchairs, or with other movement disorders.
These dogs assist by retrieving objects, pushing buttons, switching lights on and off, opening and answering doors, and even answering phones.
* Emergency medical response dogs are for those with chronic medical conditions such as epilepsy and diabetes. Some dogs detect and warn owners of seizure
activity, often even before they occur.
* PTSD dogs are especially intuitive. Dogs will gently wake owners during night terrors, retrieve medication, lean into their owners for comfoting, or create a space in crowded areas for
claustrophobia/agoraphobia associated with PTSD.
* Service dogs who work outside the home are called facility dogs, tasked with routinely visiting people at schools, nursing homes and hospitals.
* Therapy dogs are also called facility dogs; the two can overlap, but some organizations – like TDI – do prohibit animals from being both service and therapy dog.
* Therapy dogs frequently visit colleges and universities during finals weeks. These dogs help relieve anxiety in students who don't have pets or are away from home.
* Therapy dogs can simply sit and comfort individuals, often physically or mentally disabled, sick or elderly.
Dogs in the U.S. Military & Police
The United States military has used dogs in every major war.
These dogs are used for messengers, unit mascots, and trackers of enemy soldiers, explosives, food, and drugs, and protection.
They have been a vital part of the military, along with military police dogs.
Recent research has shown that petting and playing with animals can greatly reduce stress and depression. Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, are often paired with a service dogs
or therapy dogs. Soldiers coming home from deployment can find readjusting to civilian life difficult; having a furry best friend can make the transition a little easier.
Help a Veteran
Finding a canine companion for every veteran in need requires a massive amount of resources.
Donating, fundraising, and sponsoring charities that place pets with vets can all make a difference.
If it's not us, please find out who else is helping Our Veterans Obtain needed Service Animals
What are we doing?
We're Making paracord Military style Survival Bracelets and Dog Collars, Lanyards, Key chains, and more...
The Proceeds received from the selling of Any Paracord Items will be used to pay for and / or train dogs for Veteran's who require Service Dogs.
Where do you get one? How to Order? What do they look like?
What Else can YOU Do? And What else do you need to know?
... All the materials used are paid for out of pocket by Lady M Lenz. No Monies deposited into the fund are used for materials or training.
Any Training done by Lady M Lenz is done on a volunteer basis, of Service Animals who have been or will be adopted to Veteran's in need of or require Service Dogs.
We started a Fund which is 100% Specifically Designated for Veteran's in need to Obtain a Trained Service Animal or for Veterans who are adopting a dog who needs to be trained for Service!
The Fund will be used to Pay for any newly acquired animal who requires vaccination boosters, materials, collars, leads, or other training devices needed or used in order for an animal to
obtain their Certification of K9 Good Citizenship Testing, and / or to help defray the costs of Animals already Trained for Service who are paired with Veteran's in need of Service Animals.
Follow us on our donation page and find the collars lanyards, bracelets and more at:
or Email us at: DogSerVets@OttomaticSlim.com
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