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What is VA’s policy regarding service dogs?

The Veterans Affairs Department is revising its policies on the presence of animals in VA facilities. Previous VA regulation authorized the presence of seeing-eye dogs on VA property and other animals at the discretion of a VA facility head. The updated regulation will ensure VA practices remain consistent with applicable federal law. It will also assist those entering and working at VA facilities in developing a clear and consistent understanding of the criteria governing facility access for service animals. Under the updated regulation, service dogs are allowed on VA owned or leased property. Only dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability are considered service animals. There are no restrictions on the breeds of dogs that may be considered service animals. Other animals are not allowed in VA facilities unless they are allowed as an exception for specific activities such as animal-assisted therapy or law enforcement purposes. Animals which provide emotional support are not considered to be service animals per the new regulation.

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