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House OKs Walden bill for VA to offer service dog training therapy

KTVZ file

Program known to relieve effects of PTSD

WASHINGTON (KTVZ) -- Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., on Friday welcomed unanimous House passage of the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers (PAWS) for Veterans Therapy Act. Walden co-sponsored the bill, which would enable the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide service dog training therapy to veterans in need. 

“The House’s unanimous passage of the PAWS Act is welcome news for the many veterans struggling with PTSD and other mental health-related challenges," Walden said. "This bill will better equip VA with the tools necessary to treat PTSD.

"There is no one-size-fits-all solution to mental health, and it is important we provide cutting-edge treatments to those who have bravely served our country. I think almost everyone, at one point or another, has experienced the healing effects of dogs,” he added.

Veterans participating in the program will learn how to train a service dog for them to adopt or give to a fellow former servicemember in need.

For people struggling with mental health, service dogs have been shown to relieve the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), improve interpersonal relationships, lower the risk of substance abuse, and improve overall health.

The legislation now goes to the Senate for its consideration You can learn more about the PAWS Act here.

Article Topic Follows: Government-politics

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