Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center
What is a Service Dog?
A service dog is a dog trained to do specific tasks for a person that he or she cannot do because of a disability.
Service dogs can:
- Pick things up
- Guide a person with vision problems
- Alert a deaf person to an alarm
- Help support someone who falls or loses balance easily
- Calm a person with PTSD during an anxiety attack
Protecting someone, giving emotional support, or being a companion do NOT qualify a dog to be a service animal.
Service dogs are allowed on VA property, as long as they are on a harness, leash, behave, and do not present any safety concerns. VA is not responsible for the care or supervision of the service animal.
Pets are not allowed on VA property, nor are service animals that are not dogs.
Service animals will be restricted from accessing certain areas of VA property, to ensure patient care, patient safety, or infection control standards are not compromised:
- Operating rooms and surgical suites
- Areas where invasive procedures are being performed
- Acute inpatient hospital settings when the presence of the service animal is not part of a documented treatment plan;
- Decontamination, sterile processing, and sterile storage areas
- Food preparation areas (not public food service areas)
- Any areas where personal protective clothing must be worn, or barrier protective measures must be taken to enter
To be a service dog, a dog must do thorough training. Usually the dog is trained to:
- Do things that are different from natural dog behavior
- Do things that the handler (dog owner) cannot do because of a disability
Will the VA give me a dog?
VA does NOT provide service dogs. Veterans are responsible for searching for dogs on their own. VA does not assist with application fees or other costs associated with obtaining a dog (there are many organizations that provide dogs to Veterans at little or NO cost).
Anyone with a disability can get a service dog, as there are multiple agencies throughout the country that provide service dog training at a cost. Things to consider before applying for a Service Dog:
- What is the disability you need a service dog to assist you with?
- What tasks would a service dog help you with?
- What other devices or strategies have you tried to help with your disability?
- Would you be able to care for a dog for several years, including ongoing expenses of having a dog?
- Main Campus
Hours of Operation
- Mon-Fri 8:00am - 4:30pm