This sources sought is issued solely for informational, planning purposes and market research in accordance with FAR Part 10. This sources sought is seeking interest from all concerns capable and interested in meeting the following requirements.
Subject: Sources Sought for Service Dogs specifically trained to work with individuals diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In accordance with 2010 Bill S.1390, sec 1084 the Department of Veterans Affairs will conduct a pilot program on the use of service dogs with treatment and or rehabilitation of veterans with physical or mental injuries or disabilities. Due to the previous research within the VA the research team has chosen to focus on PTSD and subsequent mental health improvements which may result from provision of a service dog. Agencies shall be able to, at a minimum, meet the following capabilities/standards:
" Agency shall meet the requirements of a "service dog" as stated in Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Subpart A 36.104.
" Agency shall show prior experience providing dogs specifically trained to work with individuals diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). References will be required for all trainers.
" Agency shall provide face to face, age appropriate education for family members residing in the home with the recipient and ensure all members understand the implications of living with a service dog.
" Agency shall provide dogs trained in specific tasks based on the individual needs of the veteran.
" Agency shall provide to the VA a quarterly report on the placement of all dogs.
" Agency shall provide contact information for current insurance carrier.
" Agency shall provide information on adverse events; including return of a service dog; reports of nipping or biting from a service dog; or a service dog illness which impedes or impairs the service dog's ability to satisfactorily perform duties.
" Agency shall be willing to provide documented proof of safety checks that are completed to ensure the health and wellness of the service dog and individual to study representatives following placement.
" Agency must be located within a 125 mile radius of the James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital, Tampa, FL to ensure proper monitoring procedures.
" Agency shall be able to provide health insurance for each dog. The insurance will cover the maximum percentage of the cost of treatments and provide coverage for hereditary and congenital conditions. The insurance will also include the maximum percentage of accident, illness and injury with an annual deductable if applicable. In addition, the insurance shall include two annual routine wellness check-ups.
" Agency shall provide veterinary care program (VCP) for all service dogs placed in the home. This VCP shall include information related to the dog's weight, temperature, and a health assessment. This will also include veterinarian visits for each dog prior to placement and again at stated intervals after placement.
" Agency employees entering veteran homes shall be required meet all Contractor Personnel Security and Suitability requirements inclusive of background investigations conducted by the federal government.
" Agency must comply with VA Acquisitions Regulations (VAAR) subpart 839.201: Information and information technology security requirements inclusive of 852.273-75.
" Service dogs shall meet the following minimum standards for public access and shall include:
" Documented minimum of 120 hours of schooling over six (6) months.
" Thirty (30) hours (Documented) shall be devoted to outings that prepare the service dog for work in public places.
" Documented obedience training (sit, stay, come, down, heel and off leash recall) in response to verbal and/or hand commands.
" Documented passing of the AKC good canine citizen's test.
" Family certification for receipt and agreement of the dog-pairing.
" Documentation to indicate that home environment is appropriate for the housing of a service dog.
" Documentation shall be provided to prove that the dogs to be provided have the desired temperament to be a service dog candidate (e.g. have manners which include non-aggressive behavior, no begging of food, no urination without command, no barking or growling, no sniffing of other dogs and people when they pass, no running off). Service dog identification cards shall be provided to the veteran upon successful completion of training with their service dog.
All responses will be used to determine the appropriate acquisition strategy for the future acquisition. No award will be made from this sources sought. A solicitation is not available; therefore, do not request a copy of a solicitation. The Department of Veterans Affairs at this time is not seeking proposals and will not accept unsolicited proposals.
The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code is 812910, and small business size standard is $7 million. Responses should be typed and submitted by electronic mail no later than Friday, March 9, 2012 at 3:00 pm Eastern Standard Time. Response can be submitted to Paula Stankovic, Contract Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide the following information: Company's name, address, point of contact, telephone and fax numbers, business size/type (Large, Veteran -Owned, 8(a), HUBZone, SDB, JWOD, Women-Owned, etc), cage code, email address, web site (if applicable), experience, and an overview of you r company and ability to meet the requirements (10 page limit). Any information provided is voluntary. Be advised that the government will not pay for any information or administrative cost incurred to this sources sought. All cost associated with this sources sought will be solely at the expense of the respondents. Additionally all submissions become government property and will not be returned. No basis for a claim against the government shall arise as a result from a response to this sources sought.