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Service Dog Info

Are you interested in having a Service Animal?

Owning a Service Dog is a big commitment, depending on breed as 40% of dogs live over ten years with some breeds living as long as 20!

  1. Have you ever owned a dog before?
  2. What are you interested in having your Service dog trained to assist you with related to your PTSD or TBI 
    1. It is good to do some research on what Service dogs can assist with so you are informed, just like purchasing a car this is an investment in you and you want to make the most of it
    2. A good resource for terms definitions and information is;
  3. Do you own your own home or rent?
    1. If so for how long?
    2. Some Organizations look for stability in your housing situation as a part of their application process
  4. Do you have a fenced in yard or park nearby that you can take your service dog to get exercise in?
    1. Dogs are born to work for a living. They've worked alongside us for thousands of years, and most are bred for a particular purpose, like hunting, herding livestock or providing protection. Dogs in general need ½ to one hour of exercise a day
  5. Do you have a plan in place for care for your dog in the event of an emergency (ex. need to be hospitalized for a surgery)
    1. Service Dogs are not allowed places where the general public is not allowed (ex. an inpatient unit). It is recommended that you have a plan of care (written out) with a trusted family member, friend or local shelter in the event of an emergency
  6. Have you familiarized yourself with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Service dogs
    1. This is a Nice FAQ sheet about the law and Service Dogs prepared by the Attorney General's Office;
  7. Do you have your DD 214 and award letter from the Veterans Benefits Administration (if you are Service Connected)
    1. Many Organizations ask for a copy of your DD-214, to verify you are a veteran. Some organizations also ask for either a copy of your award letter from the Veterans Benefits Administration or a letter from a provider, to verify you have Service Related Injuries.
      1. To obtain a new copy of your DD 214 you can go to;
    2. To obtain a new copy of your award letter you can;
      2. Call the VBA helpline 1-800-827-1000
      3. Visit VBA officer, Mary Murrin on 3rd floor C Wing
  8. Are you aware of the average cost of owning a Service Dog?
    Yearly Expense Type of Expense
    Food and Treats 250 - 700
    Toys 25 - 150
    Beds 50 - 200
    Leashes and Collars 20 - 50
    Grooming 30 - 500
    Routine Veterinary Care 500 - 1000
    Preventive Medications and Supplements 100 - 300
    Training Classes or Resources 25 - 300
    Petsitters or Boarding 100 - 300
    Yearly Total $1100-3500
    Average Monthly Cost of Owning a Dog $90-290
  9. Can I bring a service dog to the VA?
    1. Service dogs are allowed in the VA. If you have a question about service dogs in the Albany VA Medical Center, please contact the VA police at (518) 626-6750.
  10. Will the V.A. pay for a service dog?
    1. At this time the VA only covers care for Routine annual veterinary visits and devices (e.g. harness, vest) AFTER your Primary Care Dr. has placed a consult TO PROSTHETICS for evaluation ONLY FOR 1) blindness, 2) deafness, 3) mobility, 4) seizures related to your service. Research is currently being conducted to expand for PTSD/TBI

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Service Dog Organizations