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

  • Explosion at Mississauga, Ont., restaurant injures at least 15

    Canada News CTV News
    MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - Paramedics in Peel Region west of Toronto say 15 people have been injured in an explosion at a restaurant in Mississauga, Ont. A spokesman for the paramedic service says three people were rushed to a trauma centre with critical injuries due to the blast. Source
  • 15 people injured following explosion at Mississauga restaurant

    Canada News CBC News
    Fifteen people are hurt after an explosion an Indian restaurant at a Mississauga plaza Thursday night. Peel paramedics say they were called to the scene of Bombay Bhel in the area of Hurontario Street and Eglinton Avenue East around 10:30 p.m. ET. The three people in critical condition suffered "critical blast injuries," they say. Source
  • Amazon to bring 1,000 jobs to Ottawa with new warehouse

    Canada News CBC News
    Online retail giant Amazon is set to make a major investment in Ottawa, with a warehouse that will employ roughly 1,000 people, according to two members of Parliament. Orléans MP Andrew Leslie confirmed in an interview with CBC News that the company plans to take over a giant warehouse proposed for 5371 Boundary Rd. Source
  • 100 years after death, MP and WWI veteran to be honoured with plaque in Ottawa

    Canada News CTV News
    The First World War claimed the lives of two sitting Canadian MPs, but until now, only one had been immortalized in the House of Commons. Killed in Belgium during the Battle of Mount Sorrel in June 1916, Lt. Source
  • Police officers rescue woman stuck in bathtub for 70 hours

    Canada News CTV News
    BRADFORD, Ont. -- Police in a community north of Toronto say a woman has been rescued after spending nearly three days stuck in a bathtub. South Simcoe police say officers were sent to a home in Bradford, Ont. Source
  • Georgia jury awards $1B in damages after guard rapes teen

    World News CBC News
    A Georgia jury has awarded an eye-popping $1-billion verdict against a security company after an apartment complex guard was convicted of raping a 14-year-old girl. Hope Cheston was outside by some picnic tables with her boyfriend during a party in October 2012 when an armed security guard approached, attorney L. Source
  • Police ID woman killed in targeted attack at Toronto apartment

    Canada News CTV News
    Toronto police have identified the woman killed in what they call a targeted attack at a midtown apartment. Dead is 21-year-old Abbegail Elliott. Investigators say they were called to an apartment in the city's Annex neighbourhood at around 4:30 p.m. Source
  • Trump pardons Jack Johnson, boxing's 1st black heavyweight champion

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday granted a rare posthumous pardon to boxing's first black heavyweight champion, clearing Jack Johnson's name more than 100 years after what many see as his racially charged conviction. "I am taking this very righteous step, I believe, to correct a wrong that occurred in our history and to honour a truly legendary boxing champion," Trump said during an Oval Office ceremony. Source
  • Three-year-old girl's sundress deemed inappropriate for pre-school

    Canada News CTV News
    A three-year-old girl won’t be allowed to wear a sundress she loves to pre-school anymore after staff deemed the straps on the outfit inappropriate, a Winnipeg family says. Sadie Stonehouse said the pre-school has put her in the uncomfortable position of having to explain to her daughter, Lola, why the sundress isn’t allowed – a conversation she fears will make her three-year-old question her body. Source
  • Trump had to 'face the music' that U.S., North Korea worlds apart on nuclear deal

    World News CBC News
    Donald Trump's decision to scrap a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was inevitable, some experts say, but there is still hope the meeting can happen. Jonathan Pollack, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution Center for East Asia Policy Studies, doesn't think the sudden scuttling of the summit was a strategic move by the president. Source