Suffering Soldiers Find It Harder To Get Service Dogs Under New Policy
A new Army policy is making it harder for soldiers with PTSD and other combat-caused ailments to get much-needed service dogs, according to an investigation by msnbc.com.
The policy, implemented by the Army in January, requires all service dogs prescribed to active-duty soldiers to be approved by Assistance Dogs International (ADI). The problem? Not all states have ADI-affiliated organizations.
In addition, commanders must give their approval before a soldier can be prescribed a service dog.
The new policy went into effect after a what was believed to be a service dog mauled to death a child in Kentucky.
Service dog advocate Debbie Kandoll told msnbc.com the new policy is keeping soldiers from getting the help they need:
"We’re talking about disabled Americans who are broken, who are on their way out of the Army and trying to put their lives back together again. They are trying to achieve a new normal."
The U.S. Army Medical Command is apparently listening to the uproar. It released a statement yesterday saying it is reviewing its service animal policy:
"The Army is working hard to meet the needs of its soldiers, and we are appreciative of the assistance that we have received to refine the policy. We are confident that the product that results from this collaborative effort will be a policy that will address soldier, unit, and installation and facility requirements."