VA says no to PTSD service dogs

"Jack is with me almost 24/7," said John Sutton.

And when Jack dons this little red jacket he's on duty.

"Jack's job is me," says Sutton.

Sutton enlisted in the army and served in the Vietnam war.

"I received 2 Army commendation ribbons and a Bronze Star," Sutton said.

While he's proud to be a veteran his service left Sutton with something no one wants.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

"I've been hospitalized for attempting suicide three times," Sutton said.

But Jack whose a trained P-T-S-D dog has become a lifeline for his owner.

Several times Sutton says he took Jack to his bi-weekly PTSD therapy sessions at the VA clinic in Conroe.

But that recently changed.

"A guard stopped me in the hallway and said you can't come in here with that dog," said Sutton.

Sutton says he was given an e-mail that states the use of dogs for a mental health diagnosis including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are not allowed in VA hospitals or clinics.

But get this.

Sutton says Conroe Regional Hospital and Saint Lukes Hospital both welcomed Jack with open arms.

"Allowed Jack not only in the hospital Jack came up and comforted me in the bed," Sutton added.

The Conroe VA clinic told Sutton and a VA spokesperson told us they are working to get Jack at least temporary access to Sutton's therapy sessions.

"Because of pressure coming from my congressman's office and that they were notified that I had contacted you," Sutton said.

In a prepared statement the VA tells us, "The Houston VA Medical Center welcomes trained service dogs and certainly recognizes their value to our veterans.

In accordance with the VA national policy the medical center works to ensure that dogs entering our main hospital or our clinics are trained to be in waiting rooms with veterans and other trained service dogs.

PTSD emotional support dogs are often not trained specifically for this."

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