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Our Service to Our Veterans

How We Help

VMF provides services to any veteran, of any generation, who has served honorably. The veteran may have physical and/or mental challenges resulting from a military operation or accident, disease subsequent to military service. Veteran must reside in the continental United States, Hawaii or Alaska.

SERVICE DOGS

Service Dogs are trained to perform a specific task to mitigate a disability. The disability can be mental and/or physical. The tasks to be performed vary according to the disabilities. Tasks include, but are not limited to, retrieval of medications, water bottles or supplies; operation of light switches, opening/closing doors, mobility tasks, seizure and/or medical alerts, PTSD/nightmare interruption.

Service Dogs provide dedicated support, on a 24/7 basis, to a disabled veteran in accordance with the American Disabilities Act (ADA)*.

Training for a service dog starts at 8 weeks of age and continues until the dog is placed into service at 18 months to 2 years of age.

FACILITY/THERAPY DOGS

Facility/Therapy Dogs work alongside healthcare providers offering comfort, affection and support to veterans engaged in rehabilitation or other medical treatment. They comfort the veteran and lower the stress level during procedures, where allowed. The emotional support they provide to veterans during therapy sessions allows the veteran to relax and to support better communication between the veteran and healthcare provider. Facility Dogs visit the sick and their distressed family members, giving comfort during stressful times.

Facility/Therapy Dogs work in settings such as schools, VA Hospitals, outpatient clinics, mental health facilities and nursing homes.

Facility dog training can take anywhere from 6 months to a year.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT DOGS

Emotional Support Dogs help relieve symptoms of emotional distress by providing comfort, support, and companionship. While Emotional Support Dogs are well trained animals, they are not trained like Service Dogs that perform a task to mitigate a specific disability. Therefore, Emotional Support Dogs are not allowed the same privileges that the ADA* defines for a Service Dog. Emotional Support Dogs still have an important job however, as they help their veteran through everyday emotions while navigating the personal encounters of everyday life.

Training time for Emotional Support dogs can vary depending on age and circumstances. Many of these dogs are rescues or personal dogs.

COMPANION DOGS

Companion Dogs are personal family pets, whether the dog is one you rescued or the puppy you purchased. These dogs provide comfort to veterans in their own homes as they interact with family, friends, and the general public. VMF will be offering basic obedience training programs to support building a strong relationship with your pet.

Training classes will run 6-8 weeks.

Watch this site for more information on upcoming classes.
* The American Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a service animal as one that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability. Service animals are permitted in any public spaces when they accompany their veteran. If questioned, a business may ask only two specific questions: 

(1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
(2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform?

Requests for documentation for the dog, demonstrations of its task, or inquiries about the nature of the
veteran's disability are specifically prohibited. For more information about service animals, go to ADA’s website.

veterans moving forward

Providing service dogs and canine therapy services to veterans with physical and/or mental health challenges, at no cost to the veteran.
© 2020 Veterans moving forward a tax-exempt 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization.
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Phone:  703-665-2129

Executive Offices:
44225 Mercure Circle,
Suite 130 Dulles, VA 20166
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