Rules Clarified on Animals on VA Property
The VA has revised its regulation regarding the presence of animals on VA property to ensure its practices remain consistent with federal law. Under the revised regulation, only dogs that are individually trained to perform work or tasks on behalf of an individual with a disability will be considered service animals. Other animals will not be permitted in VA facilities, unless expressly allowed as an exception under the regulation for activities such as animal-assisted therapy or for other reasons such as law enforcement purposes.
In these photos, Kenny Bass, an infantry Marine injured by an IED, is shown with his trained service dog Atlas.
“Atlas became my support system,” Bass said, explaining how the dog helps him with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. “He could tell when I was having nightmares. He’d jump on the bed, lick my face and wake me up. A few weeks after I got him I was sitting alone in my garage, as usual. He came over and dropped his ball in my lap. Five minutes later I was out in the backyard with him, in the sunshine, throwing the ball for him.”
Grateful for what Atlas did for him, Bass helped found The Battle Buddy Foundation, a non-profit that trains service dogs for veterans struggling with PTSD.
While implantable devices have shown promise in reducing rehospitalization for heart failure (HF), VA researchers sought to determine if options that are less expensive and non-invasive would have comparable results.
Legislation to prevent VA from outsourcing creation of its drug formulary and to require more input from medical professions is being considered in Congress.