Vance wants 'sensitive solution' to base restrictions for vet with service dog

The Canadian military is looking for a more "sensitive solution" to accommodate a service dog belonging to a soldier who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder at a base in Edmonton, the chief of the defence staff says.

See Full Article

Gen. Jonathan Vance said he is "very likely" to side with Sgt. Jeffrey Yetman, in Yetman's fight to keep his service dog at his side while visiting essential facilities at the military base he calls home.

Yetman was recently informed that his service dog, Diego, was not permitted to accompany him to facilities including the mess hall, the gym and the family resource centre at Canadian Division Support Base Edmonton. Yetman, who lives at the base, says the restrictions on his dog are making it harder for him to leave the house or go about his daily activities, because he relies on the emotional support his dog provides.

"Right now I have no idea where I can go," he told CTV News on Tuesday. He said, in some cases, he either has to leave his dog at home – which causes him emotional distress – or he doesn't go out at all.

On Wednesday, Vance acknowledged that he's aware of the situation, and hopes to find a way to accommodate all those involved.

"The chain of command in Edmonton is working on this, and will reach out to him and arrive at a more sensitive solution, and one that's based collaboratively with him," Vance told CTV News Channel on Wednesday. He also pointed out that the base must balance other concerns because some people are afraid of dogs, while others have allergies to them.

He added that service dogs are a "contested area" when it comes to their therapeutic value, as there is no "body of medical science" on their potential benefits for PTSD sufferers. However, he also acknowledged there is plenty of "anecdotal evidence" that they can be helpful.

"I am grateful that his dog is making his life better," Vance said. "Believe me, I will very likely come down on the side of Sgt. Yetman in terms of his ability to access the base and the programs that he needs."

Yetman was matched up with Diego two years ago, through the Wounded Warriors Weekend Foundation. He says his mobility and his quality of life have "improved greatly" since he was paired with the animal.

"I'm not so afraid of crowds – I still have issues with it – but he has my back for the most part," Yetman told CTV News.

The base recently posted rules prohibiting anyone with a service animal from visiting its major facilities, without first giving 24 hours' notice. Yetman said, prior to those rules going up, he was free to take Diego with him anywhere he needed to go on the base.

A spokesperson for the base said the problem stems from the fact Yetman's dog does not qualify as a service animal under Alberta's Service Dogs Act. The act requires service dogs to be trained through a school accredited by Assistance Dogs International.

"If someone had an ADI certified service dog, and had a reason to be on the base, we will do our best to accommodate," Capt. Donna Riguidel told CTV News in a statement on Tuesday. She added that the base recognizes the value of "emotional support animals," and said the base will do its best to accommodate them on a "case-by-case basis."

Yetman is one of four Armed Forces members with a service animal at the base. None of the animals are accredited through ADI.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Australian man handed life sentence in Philippines for child trafficking

    World News CTV News
    MANILA, Philippines - A Philippine court has sentenced an Australian man to life imprisonment after finding him guilty on human trafficking and child pornography charges. Drew Frederick Shobbrook, 51, listened quietly as the verdict was read in a court in Cebu city on Tuesday. Source
  • Trump Jr calls it 'nonsense' that family's profiting from presidency

    World News CTV News
    Donald Trump Jr. gives a thumbs up as he arrives for a meeting in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup) Source
  • Widow of avalanche victim sues guides, lodge operator for negligence

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER - The widow of an Alberta man who died in an avalanche near Golden, B.C., is suing the guides, their mountain guide association and the lodge operator for negligence. Douglas and Sheila Churchill were among 13 people skiing in the backcountry, about 50 kilometres northwest of Golden, when a large avalanche struck in February 2016. Source
  • Storm causes disruptions across New Zealand

    World News CTV News
    WELLINGTON, New Zealand - Mudslides blocked the only road to a small New Zealand town Wednesday after a powerful Pacific storm caused disruptions across parts of the country. The 1,000 tourists and 5,000 locals in Takaka are not entirely trapped, but would have to use a boat, helicopter or small plane to leave town now or wait a week or more before the road is cleared and repaired. Source
  • Canada welcomes release of final text of CPTPP deal

    Canada News CBC News
    The final version of a landmark deal aimed at cutting trade barriers in some of the Asia-Pacific's fastest-growing economies was released on Wednesday, signalling the pact was a step closer to reality even without its star member the United States. Source
  • Quebec man pleads guilty to importing cocaine into Australia

    Canada News CTV News
    One of three Quebecers charged with importing a large amount of cocaine into Australia in 2016 has pleaded guilty. New South Wales District Court spokeswoman Felicia Benedikovics says Andre Tamine pleaded guilty last Friday to importing cocaine in commercial quantities and will be sentenced on Oct. Source
  • Roof of community arena collapses in Calgary neighbourhood, nobody hurt

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY - No one was hurt when the roof of a small arena collapsed in a Calgary neighbourhood. The failure of the roof at the Fairview Community Centre Tuesday afternoon came only a day after the building was evacuated due to concerns about its structural integrity. Source
  • Japan sees transfer at sea that may violate North Korea sanctions

    World News CTV News
    TOKYO -- Japan's military has witnessed a ship-to-ship transfer on the high seas that it "strongly suspects" violates U.N. sanctions on North Korea, in the third such incident reported by Japan in the past month. Source
  • North Korea calls off meeting with Mike Pence 'at the last minute,' White House says

    World News CBC News
    U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence was all set to hold a history-making meeting with North Korean officials during the Winter Olympics in South Korea, but Kim Jong-un's government cancelled at the last minute, the Trump administration said Tuesday. Source
  • 'We aren't politicians, but we have voices': Shooting survivors push lawmakers on gun laws

    World News CTV News
    A group of students who survived a massacre at their Florida high school is optimistic that their anti-gun message will be heard by the state’s Republican politicians. A busload of students headed to Tallahassee Tuesday in hopes of pushing legislators to adopt stricter gun control laws in the wake of the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 students and faculty members were killed last Wednesday. Source