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Animals on VA Property, Federal Register 2015, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

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Category Government Documents
Abstract

This is the Final Rule (Regulation) governing the presence of service dogs on VA property. Although federal agencies are not subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it is intended to be consistent with the ADA Regulations (administered by the Department of Justice).

SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) amends its regulation concerning the presence of animals on VA property. This final rule expands the current VA regulation to authorize the presence of service animals consistent with applicable Federal law when these animals accompany individuals with disabilities seeking admittance to property owned or operated by VA.

DATES: This rule is effective September 16, 2015

(Note: the types of dog permitted on VA property are described in item section 1.218(a)(11)(ix):)

(ix) Generally, animals other than service animals (non-service animals) are not permitted to be present on VA property, and any individual with a non-service animal must remove it. However, a VA facility head or designee may permit certain non-service animals to be present on VA property for the following reasons:

(A) Animals may be permitted to be present on VA property for law enforcement purposes;

(B) Animals under the control of the VA Office of Research and Development may be permitted to be present on VA property;

(C) Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) animals may be permitted to be present on VHA property when the presence of such animals would not compromise patient care, patient safety, or infection control standards. AAT is a goaldirected clinical intervention, as provided or facilitated by a VA therapist or VA clinician, that incorporates the use of an animal into the treatment regimen of a patient. Any AAT animal present on VHA property must facilitate achievement of patient-specific treatment goals, as documented in the patient's treatment plan. AAT animals must be up to date with all core vaccinations or immunizations, prophylactic parasite control medications, and regular health screenings as determined necessary by a licensed veterinarian consistent with local veterinary practice standards. Proof of compliance with these requirements must be documented and accessible in the area(s) where patients receive AAT.

(D) Animal-assisted activity (AAA) animals may be permitted to be present on VHA property when the presence of such animals would not compromise patient care, patient safety, or infection control standards. AAA involves animals in activities to provide patients with casual opportunities for motivational, educational, recreational, and/or therapeutic benefits. AAA is not a goal-directed clinical intervention that must be provided or facilitated by a VA therapist or clinician, and therefore is not necessarily incorporated into the treatment regimen of a patient or documented in the patient's medical record as treatment. AAA animals must be up to date with all core vaccinations or immunizations, prophylactic parasite control medications, and regular health screenings as determined necessary by a licensed veterinarian consistent with local veterinary practice standards. Proof of compliance with these requirements must be documented and accessible in the area(s) where patients may participate in AAA.

(E) Animals participating in a VA Community Living Center (CLC) residential animal program or a Mental Health Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program (MHRRTP) may be permitted to be present on VHA property, when the presence of such animals would not compromise patient care, patient safety, or infection control standards. A residential animal program in a VA CLC or a MHRRTP is a program that uses the presence of animals to create a more homelike environment to foster comfort for veterans, while also stimulating a sense of purpose, familiarity, and belonging. Any VA CLC or MHRRTP residential animal present on VHA property must facilitate achievement of therapeutic outcomes (such as described above), as documented in patient treatment plans. Residential animals in a VA CLC or MHRRTP must be up to date with all core vaccinations and immunizations, prophylactic parasite control medications, and regular health screenings as determined necessary by a licensed veterinarian consistent with local veterinary practice standards. Proof of compliance with these requirements must be documented and accessible in the VA CLC or MHRRTP.

(F) Animals may be present on NCA property for ceremonial purposes during committal services, interments, and other memorials, if the presence of such animals would not compromise public safety, facilities and grounds care, and maintenance control standards.

Submitter

Michael Fallon

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Date 2015
Volume 80
Issue 158
Pages 49157-49164
Publisher Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office
Department Veterans Affairs
URL https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-08-17/pdf/2015-20182.pdf
Language English
Tags
  1. Animal-assisted activities
  2. Animal-assisted therapies
  3. Animal roles
  4. Mammals
  5. Service animals
  6. service dog training programs
  7. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs