Local veteran wants service dog welcome in Idaho

Posted at 7:52 PM, Feb 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-24 21:52:46-05
For veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a service dog can quite literally become a man's best friend, but in Idaho, some places are off limits to the canines.
One local nonprofit is hoping to change that with a new bill currently in the Senate.
Nic Day served as a marine for 13 years. He was deployed four times and diagnosed with PTSD.
"When I was first diagnosed with PTSD I didn't want to accept it, " said Nic.
Then the emotions caught up with him four years later. "For me, the basic emotions I feel is hate and anger," Nic explained. So he decided to get a service dog.

"Aries will remove me from a situation," Nic added.  The two became joined at the hip, and Aries always has Nic's back.  
The veteran soon found out that his dog was not welcome everywhere he went. The Idaho man was turned away from several local businesses, and the excuses were always the same.

"They said that Idaho law considers PTSD as an emotional support dog and not a service dog," said Nic. So he and his wife teamed up and founded Guardians Paws: a group that advocates for veterans rights. 

On the top of their list was changing the definition of PTSD in the state of Idaho.
"PTSD is still being seen in Idaho as a psychological diagnosis, and they don't acknowledge the physical aspects," said Tina Day, Co-founder of Guardian Paw.
Wednesday the couple went to the Capitol and presented a Senate bill.
"SB 1296 is going to bring Idaho law up to date with the current federal law," Tina explained.
The bill will expand the coverage for mental health allowing Aries, and others like him, to be classified as service dogs. 

Nic said everyone needs a best friend especially those battling PTSD.  He hopes lawmakers take notice, so Aries can stay by his side wherever he goes.