Paws 4a Warrior’s mission is to provide Companion Support Dogs and Service Dogs to veterans who have been diagnosed with PTSD or other Traumatic Brain Injuries.
Our dogs are obtained through local shelters and rescue groups.
We look at each veteran as an individual and train each Service Dog based on the veteran’s needs.
We train companions, not pets, for these veterans.
Many disabled people have pets. A Service or Assistance Dog is distinguished from a pet by the specific work or tasks they have been trained to complete.
A Service or Assistance Dog is individually trained to complete identifiable work or tasks that its’ disabled owner has trouble completing for him or herself.
Training Goals (Service Dogs)
Regardless of what disability a service dog is used for, all service dogs need to be able to:
- Walk through doorways without pulling or rushing.
- Walk past people in public without turning to sniff or look for affection.
- Walk past good displays without sniffing at them.
- Allow well-behaved animals within 10 feet of them without fussing or staring.
- Ride well in vehicles in a seat belt harness or crate.
- Wear a soft muzzle without complaining.
- Allow a stranger to walk them in the event of an emergency.
- Walk calmly beside a shopping cart.
- Successfully navigate through crowds.
- Be relaxed and calm in elevators.
- Show appropriate behavior in restrooms.
Your dog must obey basic verbal and/or hand signal obedience commands such as sit, stay, come, down and heel. When off leash, your dog must come when called.
We take a holistic approach in our obedience training, meaning we don’t train all dog the same. We look at each dog’s individual demeanor and establish a teaching style around their personality.
Goals for Veterans
Under the law, training may be completed by yourself, a friend, a family member, or professional trainer/training organization. It takes about six months to a year (120 hours) to properly train a Service or Assistance Dog.
Veterans are required to participate in the training process, meeting 1-2 days a week until they and their canine partner are able to pass the Public Access Test for service dogs.
Federal Laws and Warnings
Those who pretend that they are disabled, or that their pet is a Service Dog so that they may gain entry to areas where the public is normally allowed to go, enter restaurants, fly in-cabin, stay in a hotel, apartment or condominium __ or test the boundaries of what is legal or ethical are breaking federal law. There are legal options for traveling and living with your dog which you should consider.
There is no gear, ID, paperwork or certification required by US federal law for a service dog to work in public.
Federal law mandates that anywhere a member of the general public is allowed to go, so may an individual accompanied by a Service Dog. This includes restaurants, hotels, hospitals, universities, theaters, stores, and any other public accommodations.
A service dog team cannot be charged any fees or deposits for the dog’s presence.
Federal law mandates complete access at no charge for all service dog teams.
Types of Service Dogs
When you think of a service animal, most people think of the seeing eye dog. Depending on who you ask, there are more than 10 types of service animals.
A few examples are listed below.
Allergy Alert Dogs
Autism Assistance Dogs
Brace/Mobility Support Dogs
Diabetic Alert Dog
Medical Alert Dogs
Medical Assistance Dogs
Psychiatric Service Dogs
Seizure Response Dogs
Visual Assistance Dogs
Wheelchair Assistance Dogs
What are the differences between a CSD and a Service Dog?
A service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. According to The American with Disabilities Act:
Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties.
Service animals are working animals, not pets.
The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability.
Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.
A companion or emotional support dog’s sole purpose is to provide comfort or emotional support for their owners. They are not considered working dogs by the ADA.
CSD’s do not have public access rights with the exception of:
1. Being able to travel on air liners
2. Being allowed in non-pet living facilities.
In each of these cases, the owner must provide documentation from their doctor showing their need for a CSD.
If flying, you should always check with your airline for any updated rules and regulations.
For more information visit www.ada.gov
Under certain circumstances it may be possible to deduct some expenses of owning a CSD from your taxes. Consult your accountant for more information.