Pres. Signs Bill To Allow Veterans With Mental Health Condition to Receive Service Dogs

Photo by Carol Duff

Health Editor’s Note: We all know how a dog can make our lives better and now Veterans with mental health conditions will be guaranteed the ability to have a companion to help them to move through their lives…..Carol

Veterans with PTSD could get service dogs from VA under new law

by Nikki Wentling/Stars and Stripes

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed a bill into law that will allow some veterans with mental health conditions to receive service dogs.

The new law orders the Department of Veterans Affairs secretary to develop and launch a five-year pilot program that provides service dog training to benefit veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Previously, the VA only covered some costs of service dogs for veterans with certain physical disabilities, such as blindness, hearing impairment and mobility issues — but not mental health conditions.

Biden signed the bill in the Oval Office. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., who led the legislation through Congress, attended the ceremony.

“I’ve had the chance to visit with veterans and their service dogs in my district, and it couldn’t be clearer how service dogs make life better for our veterans,” Slotkin said in a statement Wednesday. “From waking them from PTSD-related nightmares, helping them open doors, or finding an exit in a crowded space, it can be transformational.”

The Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers for Veterans Therapy Act, or PAWS Act, requires the VA to start the pilot program in early 2022, and it must be carried out by at least five VA medical centers. Read More:


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  1. Pit Bulls? How can you make such a statement, and lots of materials on the internet will take exception: “Pit bulls make up only 6% of the dog population, but they’re responsible for 68% of dog attacks and 52% of dog-related deaths since 1982, according to research compiled by Merritt Clifton, editor of Animals 24-7, an animal-news organization that focuses on humane work and animal-cruelty prevention.” I think you should reconsider what you wrote as misleading and/or intentionally false. [accessed 8/29/2021]

  2. Pit Bulls make great family dogs. My Daughter rescued a Breeder that was saved from a fighting ring. He cuddles with the infants and no one who looks over the fence ever jumps into her yard.

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