Lucy is an
AKC Certified therapy dog. I am a
volunteer, not a veteran, in the
pet therapy program at the Castle
Point and Montrose VA Hospitals.
We go around visiting the
patients. It is a lot of fun
watching the patients brighten up
when Lucy walks into their room.
Having a brain injury, I found
that training Lucy was very
therapeutic for me, and at the
end, I have a great dog. I would
like to share my experience with
the returning combat Veterans with
TBI / PTSD.
The Veteran will work with
their local animal shelter and
train a dog at their own local
training center. An evaluator from
AKC will certify that the dog and
veteran meet AKC certification. At
the end, the dog will be AKC
certified to go to hospitals or
nursing homes. The website for AKC
There will be no fund-raising,
fanfare, marketing or any other
type of activities that will
interfere with the confidentiality
of the Veteran. The expense will
be burdened by the Veteran, and we
need to keep it minimal. My
expense training Lucy was around
$500. Maybe people are willing to
donate some of their time in doing
Please forward this website
to any returning combat Veteran.
They may know a Veteran that could
use the help.
This is strictly a civilian
project. TherapyDogLucy.org is not
associated with the military,
Veterans Affairs or any other
governmental agency. Please keep
in mind that this is a therapy dog
and not a service dog. A therapy
dog does not have public access.
For more information, please
contact me at:
845 787 3960
dog must be certified by one of these
organizations to be eligible to
receive the AKC Therapy Dog title.
Hudson Valley Castle
On Netflix "Shelter Me"
Aiming to boost the adoption of
shelter pets, this uplifting
documentary focuses on the success
stories, including dogs trained as
service animals for the disabled and others who are
helping returning war veterans with
post-traumatic stress disorder.
website and Photos:
Not sure if this works. Please check
with your VA service coordinator.
Below is a list of some of the
financial assistance programs
available to qualified persons:
The Montgomery GI Bill – Chapter
Post 9/11 GI Bill – Chapter 33
VRAP Approved (Veteran’s
Retraining Assistance Program)
The Survivors and Dependents
Educational Assistance – Chapter 35
Selected Reserve – Chapter 1606
Reserve Educational Assistance –
with foster care
Veterans needs help foster caring
their dogs when they go to the hospital.
The American Legion or VFW may have
volunteers to help with foster care.
For more information, please contact
845 787 3960
Alto Dog VA center
Access of a Service Dog... Staff may
ask two questions
When it is not obvious what service an
animal provides, only limited inquiries
are allowed. Staff may ask two questions:
(1) is the dog a service animal required
because of a disability, and (2) what work
or task has the dog been trained to
perform. Staff cannot ask about the
person’s disability, require medical
documentation, require a special
identification card or training
documentation for the dog, or ask that the
dog demonstrate its ability to perform the
work or task.
There are many
opinions about service dogs. This
opinion is the simplest and
straightforward. The VA does not
provide any service dogs. They can
potentially reimburse veterinary costs
through the prosthetics department.
The only thing a veteran need to get a
service dog is a disability. They must
get their dog from an accredited
organization (listed on the Assisted
Dog International website) if they
want reimbursement only. Otherwise,
they can get a shelter dog, or a puppy
and even train the dog themselves.
some detailed information about
2. How do I determine if I am
eligible for a service dog through VA?
To receive any type of medical
service through VA, you must register
at the Health
Administration/enrollment section of a
VA Medical Center or online at: http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp/main.asp. Once registered, a
referral to a specialist may be
requested through the assigned VA
primary care provider. The Veteran's
VA medical team will perform a
complete clinical evaluation to
determine how best to assist the
Veteran. Each guide and service dog
request is reviewed and evaluated on
a case-by-case basis.
Currently, VA does
not provide service dogs for
physical or mental health
conditions, including PTSD.
VA does provide veterinary care
for service dogs that are deemed
medically necessary for the
rehabilitation or restorative care
plan of Veterans with permanent
physical impairments. If research
supports the use of service dogs for
PTSD, VA will provide veterinary care
for such dogs. Read more information
and service dogs.
How do I get a service dog?
Each Veteran's case is reviewed and
evaluated by a prescribing clinician for
Ability and means, including family
or caregiver, to care for the dog
currently and in the future
Goals that are to accomplished
through the use of the dog
Goals that are to be accomplished
through other assistive technology
The Veteran will be informed of an
approval or disapproval of their service
dog request. Veterans
approved for service dogs are
referred to Assistance Dogs
There is no charge for the dog or the
What benefits does VA provide?
Veterans with working service dogs are
provided veterinary care and equipment
through VA Prosthetics and Sensory Aids.
VA does not pay for boarding, grooming,
food, or any other routine expense
associated with owning a dog.
Dog International North America
The Assistance Dogs International
Public Access Test
Can Veterans with post
traumatic stress disorder benefit
from service dogs or emotional
International Association of
Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP) is
Dog International North
America. This is only an
example of some of the tasks
for a service dogs.
Develop a Plan to
train a service dog... Example
Go to http://www.iaadp.org/doj-def-comments-Title-II-III-SA.html
and do a find on mental health
These tasks are based upon input from
mental health practitioners, dog
trainers, and individuals with a
history of working with psychiatric
Go to http://www.iaadp.org/psd_tasks.html
and do a find on tactile distraction
and then Deep Pressure for Calming
2. AKC Community Canine is the
advanced level of AKC's Canine Good
Citizen (CGC) program.
3. The Assistance Dogs
International Public Access Test
4. Sign off from mental health practitioners,
dog trainers, and individuals with a
history of working with psychiatric
Two questions you must be able to
answer: (1) is the dog a service
animal required because of a
disability, and (2) what work or task
has the dog been trained to perform.
There is much confusion on how
to get a PTSD/TBI service dog.
If anyone had a good experience on
getting one please to contact us.
845 787 3960
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-8255 press 1 for VA or
hold for civilian