PAWS law designed to help veterans with PTSD get service dog law enacted

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PULASKI, Wis. (WBAY) – The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that 20% of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Now there is a new law that will make it easier for veterans with PTSD to have a service dog

President Biden signed the PAWS law on Wednesday.

The PAWS ACT, or “Puppies Assisting Wounded Service members for Veterans Therapy Act,” authorizes the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to create a pilot program on dog training therapy that will provide dog training skills and assistance dogs. veterans with mental illness.

While the VA previously paid for service dogs for veterans with physical and mobility issues, Jeremy Van Beek, the founder of Get Your Six K9’s Service Dogs, said people with PTSD were left behind. apart.

“They would ask, is there the data? Our well-being was not enough. And now a lot of veterans haven’t come forward who probably needed it and unfortunately aren’t with us today because it wasn’t a well-respected idea, ”said Van Beek.

Michael Thorpe, a veteran and dog trainer for Elite Canines, said he’s living proof that service dogs can make a difference to people with PTSD.

“I had tons of panic attacks, I had tons of nightmares and before I had my dog ​​Fecto I was staying all the time and it was a nightmare for me,” Thorpe said.

The five-year, $ 10 million pilot program will take effect on January 1, 2022.

Van Beet hopes the program will be sustainable, as many in the past have given hope to veterans.

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