Buddy or Service Dogs Help Military Members cope with PTSD
Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) May 26, 2022 – Although it has been known for several years that service dogs help military members cope with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), there has not been any scientific evidence to back that up. There is now.
Researchers at the Dutch Police Academy and Radboud University conducted a study providing factual data showing how valuable a buddy dog can be. Overall, it was revealed that a service dog provides a person living with PTSD with increased confidence, peace, and security. The dog also helps normalize a sufferer’s life.
Dogs appear in increasing numbers in the workplace for assistance with a disability, emotional support, or even companionship. For instance, Google and Amazon allow employees to bring their pet dogs to work.
A family dog did not have the same effect, which is not surprising, given the differences in what a service dog does compare to a family pet. For instance, a buddy dog wakes up a person living with PTSD who is having a nightmare or can block a contact in the cases where the tension is on the rise between two people having a conversation. This does not imply that family dogs do not help diffuse tension because that may also happen.
The study in question had three groups: people with PTSD, people without PTSD with a family dog, and people with PTSD and service, or buddy dog. Everyone’s brain activity was tested throughout the study.
The police have employees and former employees with PTSD paired with an assistance dog in the trial. The results saw the police making use of a buddy dog into policy. Another significant finding during the study was that the brain values of a person living with PTSD with a service dog became closer to the importance of those without PTSD.
The most common service animal is a dog, as they can be trained to perform various tasks to assist individuals with disabilities such as PTSD. “The use of animals for emotional support has risen over the years, and there are three categories of assistance animals. However, each has a different level of public access protected by law,” said Jim Fausone, a Michigan veteran’s attorney and Legal Help for Veterans PLLC founder.
The three categories are:
Service Animals – Covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)- can enter public places, assist one person, live with the owner no matter what the Fair Housing Act states, and fly with the owner on a plane.
Therapy Animals – Provide comfort, and support to multiple people in varied settings, are not service animals under the law, are not covered by or have rights granted via the ADA.
Emotional Support Animals – Offers emotional support via companionship, may live with the owner no matter what the Fair Housing Act states, may fly with the owner in the cabin if there is proper documentation from a licensed healthcare professional, are not service animals, and are not covered by or have rights granted via the ADA.3
It is important to note the difference in companion pet categories. While therapy and emotional support animals can be well trained, they are not qualified to be service animals. That means they do not have the same access rights as service animals.
“If you have run into difficulties seeking veteran’s benefits, Legal Help For Veterans, PLLC is a nationwide VA Disability law firm that assists veterans and their family members in all federal VA benefit matters,” added Fausone.