How to Acquire Service Dog for Non-War Related PTSD in Indiana?

Question by Mi Gusta: How to acquire service dog for non-war related PTSD in Indiana?
Back in high school I was diagnosed with PTSD after I was traumatized. (I don’t want to get into all the specifics.) I was able to get a handle of my flashbacks and anxiety attacks during the last few years of high school. After I started up at college, I’ve been more stressed and having more attacks. I have been considering getting a service dog trained to serve those with mental disorders. I don’t know how to go about this or even how much it would cost. Any information would be helpful.

Best answer:

Answer by Kat Hertzfield
It really depends on how much counseling/therapy you’ve had. PSDs aren’t a cure, they are just another tool in your “toolbox”. If you don’t have other tools that work in combo with one, it won’t really do you much good.

There aren’t many programs that offer these dogs and you have to really do your homework on the ones that do; many people have slapped out a shingle thinking there is a ton of money to be made since PSDs have become popular for returning war vets. I’m also going to tell you that groups like psych dog are not in your best interest. Their task list is a joke (as in most of the items on it either cannot be safely taught or would be laughed out of court).

I’d suggest starting at Service Dog Central (knowledgeable people) and Laughing Eyes Kennels in New Mexico (they are putting out some quality dogs)

Answer by mariahleadme
In the U.S. to have and use a service dog, the person must meet the legal definition of “disabled” as set forth by the U.S. Department Of Justice contained in the Americans With Disabilities Act Amendments Act. No legal determination of disability = no service dog. Simply having a “disorder” does not mean one is disabled. Having a medical problem or condition does not mean one is disabled. Having depression does not mean one is disabled. Being diagnosed with PTSD does not equal being disabled. Having severe anxiety and agoraphobia does not mean one is disabled. “Lack of social skills” does not qualify as a disability. Because one has had anxiety and panic attacks does not mean one is disabled. Being “impaired” is not the same as being disabled. Having a doctor give one a “diagnosis” is not the same as being disabled. Being too lazy to properly monitor ones blood glucose and insulin levels is not a disability. The person MUST meet the ADA legal definition of disabled, which is an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. NOT “daily living” or “daily life”, but major life activities.

Then the dog must be individually trained in work or tasks which directly mitigate the effects of the qualifying disability (the dog must do something that the person is unable to do for themselves because of their disability).The simple presence of the animal is not a legal task or work under the law. Because one is more comfortable with the dog around is not a legal task or work under the law. “Feeling better” because the dog is there does not qualify as a task or work under the law. Keeping stress levels down is not a legal task or work under the law. “Helping me stay calm in the stores and other places” is not a legal task or work under the law. “Because he gets me out of the house” is not a legal task or work under the law. “I don’t panic as much when the dog is with me” is not a legal task or work under the law. “She also seems to act weird before I begin to feel bad or have any episodes” is not a trained work or task under the law. “When I am near him and when I can hug him I feel almost whole” is not a legal task or work under the law. The dog must actually be trained to do something you cannot do for yourself, which is related to your qualifying disability. The dog must also be trained to behave properly when in the public venue, and be under the handlers control at all times. The work or task MUST be related to the qualifying disability.

A service dog is not a “treatment” for medical/psychological issues and is not a replacement for following proper medication, monitoring, or cognitive therapy regimens. A service dogs sole purpose under the law is to allow more independence for a qualified legally disabled person to be able to do more for and of themselves.

The first thing you must do is to be certain you meet the ADA legal definition of disabled. Begin there.

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