Last Updated on 02/03/2023 by K9 Oil Supplements
PAWS Act Veteran Dog Therapy is Approved on Wednesday, August 25, 2021.
Veteran dog therapy gets funded. The PAWS Act is a $10 million dollar, five-year pilot program will take effect on Jan. 1, 2022. For the first time in American history, the VA will pay for service dogs for Veterans with PTSD and more to provide Veteran dog therapy.
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 service dogs to veterans with mental illnesses.
The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the bill earlier this month after it was passed by the House in March.
The new Veteran dog therapy bill law will also:
- Designate eligible Veterans to receive dog training instruction from nongovernmental accredited 501(c)(3) nonprofit Service Dog training organizations.
- Allow eligible Veterans to learn positive reinforcement training in skills that are unique to their own needs to help address or alleviate their PTSD symptoms
- Provide Veterans participating in the program with the opportunity to adopt a dog that they actively assisted in their training, provided that the Veteran and their health provider determine it to be in the best interest of the Veteran.
“We commend all involved that supported this bill. We have Veterans on staff, and we work with Veterans as part of our outreach program. We have seen first hand the many therapeutic benefits of dogs. This new law is a giant leap in the right direction to helping reduce Veteran suicide which currently claims over 22 Veterans each day. This will help with PTSD recovery and more. Thank you for doing the right thing. Veterans in need, please contact the VA immediately to learn more.” K9 Oil Supplements.
3 categories of animal assistance protected by law.
Service dogs go through rigorous training programs. They are trained specifically to assist a single person. A Service Dog has the highest level of legal protection and are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
There are many issues Veterans face that a Service dog can help with such as:
- Guide dogs for the blind
- Hearing dogs for the deaf or hearing impaired
- Mobility assistance dogs for those in wheelchairs or those with mobility limitations
- Seizure response dogs
- Diabetes assistance
- Mental health service dogs or psychiatric service dogs are task-trained to assist those with post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorders, anxiety disorders, major depression, autism spectrum disorders, etc.
Therapy Dogs provide emotional support or comfort. They can be found visiting hospitals, comforting witnesses during court procedures, supporting trauma survivors, and more. However, the Therapy Dog is not considered a Service Dog under the law. Hence, there are legal limitations and they are not covered by or afforded rights through the ADA.
Emotional Support Dogs
Emotional Support Dogs provide emotional support through their companionship. They have rights regardless of pet policies under the Fair Housing Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. An Emotional Support Dog is not considered a Service Dog under the law and is not protected by the afforded rights through the ADA.
The significance of H.R.1448 – PAWS for Veterans Therapy Act
It is now public law. And it specifically states: To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out a pilot program on dog training therapy, and to amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide Service Dogs to Veterans with mental illnesses who do not have mobility impairments (eligible veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder).
There are so many stories of success with Veteran Dog Therapy. There are so many ways to get involved to either support this cause or to be part of the many programs available. This may never end the alarming amounts of Veteran suicide in America, but Veteran Dog Therapy has in fact put a dent in it. Veterans, you fought for our freedom and deserve the help. Pick up the phone, call the VA to learn more. If your situation is urgent, please reach out to the Veterans Crisis Hotline.