Tuesday, March 29, 2016

House of Representatives Introduces PAWS Bill to Help Veterans


Cole and Kaya
On Wednesday, March 16th , Representative Ron DeSantis (R- Fl) introduced Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers Act (PAWS).  This pilot program would give trained service dogs to veterans that have severe levels of PTSD and are under the care of a VA primary care doctor or mental health professional. It would authorize the VA to spend up to $27,000 per dog to obtain them from an accredited organization and covered under the VA health insurance plan (pet care insurance).
Rep. DeSantis stated “Thousands of our post-9/11 veterans carry the invisible burden of post-traumatic stress, and there is an overwhelming need to expand the available treatment options,” and “The VA should use every tool at their disposal to support and treat our veterans, including the specialized care offered by service dogs.”  A strong supporter of the bill is Corporal Cole Lyle, a six year Marine Corps veteran who currently has Kaya, a service dog, to help him battle PTSD. He stated that Kaya “helps him overcome the struggles of PTSD on a daily basis”. 
Studies have shown that service dogs can lessen anxiety/stress and reduce the need of medications in those suffering from PTSD. The PAWS Act would allocate $10 million to fund the pilot program. 
Post a Comment