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The VA Rule Everyone Is Forgetting

July 12, 2018


The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has once again revised its regulation regarding the presence of animals on VA property. The updated regulation will ensure VA practices remain consistent with applicable federal law. It will also assist individuals entering VA

facilities in developing a clear and consistent understanding of the criteria governing facility access for service animals.


The revised regulation will ensure veterans and employees have clear guidance regarding the presence of service animals in all VA facilities. “VA remains committed to ensuring America's Veterans have access to the health care benefits for which they are eligible,” according to VA officials.


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. The regulation further confirms that service animals may access VA property subject to the same terms that govern the admission of the public to VA property, and may be restricted from certain areas on VA properties to ensure that patient care, patient safety, and infection control standards are not compromised. 













In accordance with required practices, the revised regulation was published in the Federal Register in November 2014, to obtain feedback from Veterans, advocacy organizations and other stakeholders. 

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Ronald Christopher, 7/15/18

I cannot find any reason why a veteran needs to have an animal with him/her while visiting the VA, not even a seeing eye dog because how would the dog know where to go?