A newly proposed bill looks to provide trained service dogs to military veterans struggling with PTSD and traumatic brain injury.
Trained and certified therapy dogs have been proven to benefit those in need of assistance due to a physical or emotional disability. And with over 540,000 veterans diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), one bill is looking to make the pairing of dogs and veterans that much easier.
The introduction of the H.R.3335, or the Pups for Patriots Act, proposes the training of more service dogs to curb long wait times and high costs associated with being partnered with a therapy animal, an unfortunate reality for many veterans seeking help. Sponsored by Congressmen Gus Bilirakis and Henry Cueller, co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus of the Humane Bond, the bill works to promote the life-changing and saving bond that occurs between veterans and their service dogs. The unconditional love these dogs provide becomes an alternative treatment for invisible wounds, a more long-term treatment than a pill bottle.
"We must supply a greater number of better-trained service dogs more quickly to America's veterans grappling with Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury," Dr. Robin Ganzert, CEO and president of American Humane, said in an interview with Good News for Pets.
"The Pups for Patriots Act is a vital step forward in helping protect those who have given so much to protect us and our freedom."
With an estimated 20 U.S. military veterans a day taking their own lives, the importance of introducing a relatively less time-consuming and easy way to pair them with trained companion animals can be a matter of life and death. The bill will not only assure for a timely turnaround, but will also establish a set of standards that must be adhered to when assessing, selecting, and training the dogs.
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