We were concerned recently to read a story about a disabled veteran who was apparently kicked off a New Jersey boardwalk because he had a service dog with him. The dog with the veteran was a service dog. The veteran had the service dog because he was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder as a result of his military service which including being exposed to two IED explosions.
Veterans and Service Dogs
One concerning thing about the events reported is that they showed a potential lack of understanding even among police officers about post-traumatic stress disorder and other conditions that can cause veterans to need service dogs. The story suggested in part that the police officer would have allowed the veteran to stay on the boardwalk and use the service dog if the veteran had been blind. Service dogs are an important part of treatment for many veterans who suffer from disabilities. If the events on that New Jersey Boardwalk happened as they were reported, it certainly suggests that their remains a lack of understanding of the serious nature of post traumatic stress disorder and the treatment necessary to help improve the lives of individuals who suffer from it.
Perkins Studdard’s Interest in Service Dogs
This is an especially important issue to all of us at Perkins Studdard because of our involvement with Southeastern Guide Dogs. Southeastern Guide Dogs provides guide and service dogs to many people in need across the country, including many veterans through their Paws for Patriots program. We are extremely proud that Ann-Margaret Perkins, one of the partners in our law firm, served on the Board of Directors for Southeastern Guide Dogs for many years including service as Chairman of the Board from 2006 to 2008. Perkins Studdard continues to proudly support Southeastern Guide Dogs and their continued work to help veterans and other individuals with disabilities. It is important for all of us to support continued education and understanding about guide and service dogs and the important roles they play in the lives of those who need them.