Inquiry Routing & Information System (IRIS)
VA policy on service dogs
The Department of Veterans Affairsis revising its regulation regarding the presence of animals on VA property.
Previous VA regulation authorized the presence of seeing-eye dogs on VA property and other animals at the discretion of a VA facility head. The updated regulation will ensure VA practices remain consistent with applicable federal law. It will also assist those entering and working at VA facilities in developing a clear and consistent understanding of the criteria governing facility access for service animals.
Under the updated regulation, service dogs are allowed on VA owned or leased property. Only dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability are considered service animals. There are no restrictions on the breeds of dogs that may be considered service animals.
All other animals will not be permitted in VA facilities, unless expressly allowed as an exception under regulations for activities such as animal-assisted therapy or for other reasons such as law enforcement purposes. Emotional support animals are not considered service animals under these regulations.