Veteran says Edmonton base has limited areas he can go with service dog

An Edmonton veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder says the Department of National Defence has limited the areas he can visit on his base with his service dog.

See Full Article

But the military says his dog does not qualify under the province’s Service Dog Act.

Sgt. Jeffrey Yetman says he found out Saturday that will not be allowed to visit facilities -- such as the gym, mess hall, kitchen or family resource centre -- at Canadian Division Support Base Edmonton while he is accompanied by his dog, Diego.

"It has totally taken (away) my mobility on the base," Yetman told CTV News Channel.

"Right now, I have no idea where I can go with and without the 24-hour's notice."

Before he found out about the news from a friend on the weekend, Yetman said he and Diego could pretty much go wherever they wanted on the base without a hassle.

"It wasn’t too bad. There was the odd question asked about allergies and such, but we worked around it," he said

Yetman got Diego from the Wounded Warriors Weekend Foundation two years ago, and says service dogs give veterans like himself a "constant companion," which helps them get "back in the mainstream."

"A service dog … takes us out of (a) dark corner and totally enhances our quality of life," he said.

"Since I've had (Diego) my mobility and my quality of life has improved greatly. I've gained more confidence, I'm not so afraid of crowds -- I still have issues with it -- but he has my back for the most part."

In a statement sent to CTV News, the base's public affairs officer, Capt. Donna Riguidel, said the problem stems from the fact that "none" of the dogs currently being used by soldiers on base qualify under Alberta's Service Dogs Act, which specifies that the animals must be trained through an Assistance Dogs International accredited school.

"If someone had an ADI certified service dog, and had reason to be on the base, we will do our best to accommodate," said Riguidel.

But Riguidel said that CDSB Edmonton recognizes the value of "emotional support animals" and will do their best to accommodate them on a "case-by-case basis."

She added that the base also needs to consider the needs and medical concerns of other base employees, such as allergies or phobias.

"We want to care for any member that expresses a need for an emotional support animal as much as we can, so we urge them to go through the process so everyone understands and is protected," she said.

According to documents outlining the base's policy on service dogs, Canadian Armed Forces members accompanies by animals need to notify staff members in facilities 24 hours before a visit.

A "long-term introduction" into the base would involve the base or a safety officer conducting a safety assessment.

But in the meantime, Yetman is concerned about how the base's policy will affect the three other veterans with service dogs.

"I hope this gets remedied here. I hope it doesn’t spread to other bases. In my opinion, it will have catastrophic effect," he said.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Death threats aimed at Dr. Bonnie Henry mirror contempt faced by female leaders, experts say

    Canada News CBC News
    The revelation that B.C.'s provincial health officer has received death threats comes as no surprise to some women leaders who say this kind of abuse is a widespread problem. Dr. Bonnie Henry has been praised for her "kind, calm and safe" approach to managing B.C. Source
  • Trump won't commit to peaceful transfer of power if he loses

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday declined to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the Nov. 3 presidential election. "We're going to have to see what happens," Trump said at a news conference, responding to a question about whether he'd commit to a peaceful transfer of power. Source
  • System outage at Public Health Ontario may result in delayed COVID-19 test results

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Public Health Ontario (PHO) said that some COVID-19 test results may be delayed due to a system “outage” that is preventing staff from accessing the information. In a notice posted on their website on Wednesday night, the health agency apologized for the inconvenience. Source
  • eBay workers who sent spiders to couple to plead guilty

    World News CTV News
    BOSTON -- Four former eBay Inc. employees have agreed to plead guilty to their roles in a campaign of intimidation that included sending live spiders and cockroaches to the home of a Massachusetts couple who ran an online newsletter critical of the auction site, federal prosecutors said Wednesday. Source
  • Dear Donald, Dear Mr. President: Trump and Nixon carried out years-long correspondence by mail

    World News CBC News
    They were two men in Manhattan who craved the same thing: validation. One was a brash, young real estate developer looking to put his stamp on New York, the other a disgraced elder statesman bent on repairing his reputation. Source
  • Ontario hospital lays off 97 registered nurses amid pandemic citing 'financial challenge'

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Ontario’s official opposition party says it doesn’t understand how nearly 100 front-line workers at a Greater Toronto Area hospital have been laid off in the middle of a pandemic. On Tuesday, Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket, Ont. Source
  • Saudi Arabia to lift ban on Mecca pilgrimage amid virus

    World News CTV News
    RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA -- Saudi Arabia on Tuesday said Muslims will be allowed to perform the smaller, year-round pilgrimage starting Oct. 4 as the kingdom gradually begins lifting restrictions that had been in place on Islam's holiest site for the past seven months due to the coronavirus. Source
  • Chad Wolf, U.S. homeland security nominee, denies modifying intelligence reports on Russia

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) denied allegations Wednesday that he molded intelligence reports to suit the administration, telling a Senate committee that a recent whistleblower's report is "patently false. Source
  • World leaders urge co-operation on COVID-19 while chastising each other at UN General Assembly

    World News CBC News
    The subject: coronavirus. The status: urgent. The solutions: as diverse as the nations gathered virtually for the 75th UN General Assembly. With the event reduced to recorded speeches this year because of COVID-19, leaders are using the General Assembly as an opportunity to depict the pandemic from the vantage points of their nations and themselves, and present their visions of efforts to fight the virus. Source
  • Judge: Eric Trump must testify in N.Y. probe before election

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Eric Trump must testify in a New York investigation into his family's business practices before the November presidential election, a judge ruled Wednesday, rejecting his lawyers' claims that his "extreme travel schedule" on the campaign trail warranted a delay. Source