PAWS Act Gives VA Funding for Service Dog Training For Veterans

President Joe Biden signed the PAWS, or Puppies Assisting Wounded Service Members for Veterans Therapy Act, on Wednesday, August 25, 2021.

The law has been in development for years, according to the National Public Radio Service.

It is no secret that both service animals and emotional support animals show marked improvements in the mental and physical health of those who use their services. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, 84% of all patients struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder who were paired with a service dog noticed a measurable reduction in their symptoms. Some patients have even been able to reduce their use of certain medications, but this should only be done if your doctor gives them the green light.

In a statement Friday, North Dakota Republican Senator Kevin Cramer said: “Many mobility-impaired veterans have changed their lives through service dogs – in some cases saved them. Our bill would expand this treatment by launching a pilot program to induce veterans with mental health problems such as depression to conceive service dogs. “

There are a few groups that have supported the bill in its process through the legislative system, including a Ponte Vedra organization called K9s For Warriors. The group has paired nearly 700 service dogs with veterans.

If service dogs are so good for veteran’s health, what took so long to ensure such a bill was passed?

According to Veterans Affairs, it said it was awaiting scientific study results to see if dogs trained to aid veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other types of mental and / or physical disorders are better at symptom relief than they say : a companion or pet dog. Another concern was what happens to a veteran when a dog dies.

In March 2021, these results were published in this study.

In short, both types of animals help reduce PTSD, but the dogs trained specifically for veterans could provide even more specific help and care.

A timeframe for the implementation of the plan has not yet been announced, but it will be announced soon, to the excitement of many in the United States who have fought so hard to defend our country.

The invoice itself can be read here.

Image courtesy Getty Images

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