We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.

What You Need to Know About Guide Dogs

Guide Dogs are often thought of as being linked to the blind and are regularly called “seeing eye dogs” however, this is no longer the reality of this wonderfully trained companion. Each day, we are likely to see a guide dog and other service animals assisting people with disabilities, comforting the elderly and those homebound due to illness.

Guide Dogs has been widely recognized for their usefulness as guides for the blind and more recently emotional and psychological support for those with PTSD and other anxiety and depression related illnesses. Outside of that, assistive animals are commonly found working as therapy companions and are trained to emotionally support individuals or groups. They are also trained to happily accommodate many different personalities.

Although Canada lacks a unified definition of what a Service Animal is or even a singular name for an animal providing support, Ontario does offer legislative protection to the users of “service animals” or “guide dogs” allowing them enhanced access to public facilities. 

The Human Rights Code protects against the discrimination of people with disabilities, including those who rely on service animals.  

What kinds of service dogs are there?

In short, service animals fall into 4 different categories; Guide Dogs, Emotional Support Animals and those used for Therapy Dogs and Emotional Support Dogs. The former is trained for, work and support a single person while the latter is trained to keep an even temperament among many personalities. Breeds most commonly associated with service dogs are; Labrador Retrievers and German Shepards; however, they also include Poodles and Boxers. Good service dogs must be intelligent, tidy, friendly, have a strong work ethic and the ability to bond quickly.

What do they do?

The scope of use has expanded greatly in recent years, and service animals are used daily to detect seizures, help monitor diabetic blood sugar levels and even respond to anxiety-related events of those with PTSD. Guide dogs of the blind or “seeing eye dogs” help those with limited or no vision avoid obstacles they otherwise wouldn’t be able to.

Service animals facilitate the independence of their handlers by supporting them at home and in day to day interactions, essentially allowing disabled people to rejoin society in an active way.

Where do they come from?

Many qualified trainers who train and certify their dogs as assistive support animals can be found throughout Ontario and all of Canada. Officially there is no National Occupation Classification for those who train service dogs.

How much do they cost? 

Service dogs range in price between $15,000 and $30,000 but can run over $40,000 depending on the specifics and type of disability one suffers from.

Are they covered? 

In Canada, the Medical Expense Tax Credit makes accommodations for Service Animals and those that rely on them. Until 2017, disabled persons were restricted by disability and severity of impairment when applying for Government funding. Only those with blindness, deafness, severe autism, severe diabetes, severe epilepsy or a severe and prolonged impairment that restricts the use of the arms or legs were eligible to get assistance. In 2018, the proposal was tabled to include those with severe mental impairments, including PTSD.

Does your service dog need to be certified? 

No, however, to be covered in Canada under the Medical Expense Tax Credit or METC for reimbursement, your dog must have been provided by a person or organization that is training dogs specifically to handle your specific disability. The CRA will ask for proof of purchase to determine the quality of the animal’s breeder.  

How does someone qualify for a service animal? 

The CRA requires signed statements from a medical practitioner discussing your disability or impairment, listing when it began and when, if at all, it is expected to end.

Service animals support many different people with many different disabilities. In Canada, there are limited standards when it comes to service dogs. However, the government does attempt to reconcile incurred costs by offering coverage in the METC. These dogs are expensive and specially trained; they bring joy not only to those they support but everyone around them.

Written by Jennifer Goreski, CCR

For more information on Service Animals, please visit the following resources:

www.cf4aass.org

http://copedogs.org/our-programs/resources/

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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

The following policies were updated on Tuesday April 7, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a “closed waiting room” policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 613-542-7337. We will take a history from outside of your vehicle, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. We will then return to your vehicle with your pet to discuss our recommended treatment plan. If you do not have a cell phone please knock our door to let us know you have arrived and then return to your vehicle.

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. All other services will be scheduled for a later time.

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours:
Monday to Wednesday: 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Wednesday to Friday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday: 8:00 am - 2:00 pm

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 3-5 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.

5. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. We accept credit card and debit card.

6. Online consultations are now available! If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

7. Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Kingston Veterinary Clinic