Service dogs in the United States are usually given to former service members of the military as a form of support after the soldiers have served the country. Individuals who qualify to receive the free service dogs have to meet various qualifications, which include having emotional or physical disabilities. K9s for Warriors, advocates and Canine Companions have been calling for the Veterans Affairs Department to provide support to veterans with PTSD by giving them service dogs. However, until recently, individuals with mental trauma weren’t eligible to receive these support dogs.
Canine Companions offers service dogs to children, adults and veterans with disabilities and facility dogs to professionals working in the criminal justice, healthcare and education fields. On the other hand, K9s for Warriors is a national not-for-profit organization that rescues dogs, trains them into service dogs and then gives them to veterans, without charge.
After receiving no assistance from the Veterans Administration for giving dogs to veterans with PTSD, K9s for Warriors conducted research which revealed that service dogs could help veterans fight suicide and get better. The nonprofit organization then wrote the PAWS Act (Puppies Assisting Wounded Services members) in collaboration with its partners at Purdue University.
This bill stipulates that the Veterans Affairs Department should establish a program that gives service dogs to veterans who have been diagnosed with trauma associated with the time they served in the military. The bill also requires that the VA carry out a five-year pilot program in at least five pilot sites, which will offer canine training to veterans who have been diagnosed with PTSD.
In addition to this, it states that veterans who take part in the program must undergo training and be supervised by certified service dog instructors. The PAWS Act was signed by President Joseph Biden on Aug. 25, 2021, and became effective on January 1, 2022.
In a recent interview, public affairs specialist of the Department of Veterans Affairs Gary J. Kunich revealed that the department planned to start with the small-scale study in a select number of pilot sites on Feb. 21, 2022, as they finalized details of the program. These locations will not be made public until that time.
Many hope that this program will be a success, as it is helping meet needs that are finally being recognized by the government as deserving of these service animals. It may also help some individuals get better as well as save many lives. PTSD patients need all the help that they can get, and service dogs, together with the novel treatments being developed by entities such as Mydecine Innovations Group Inc. (NEO: MYCO) (OTC: MYCOF), could go a long way toward helping military veterans and other members of society afflicted by this mental health condition.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Mydecine Innovations Group Inc. (NEO: MYCO) (OTC: MYCOF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/MYCOF
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