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Stivers Introduces the Veterans Dog Training Therapy Act

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Washington, January 14, 2015 | comments
WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Stivers (R – OH) today introduced the Veterans Dog Training Therapy Act – which would establish a pilot program for veterans so they may address their Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) through therapeutic dog training and handling.
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WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Stivers (R – OH) today introduced the Veterans Dog Training Therapy Act – which would establish a pilot program for veterans so they may address their Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) through therapeutic dog training and handling.  

“Our service men and women risk their lives and safety to protect the United States and its freedoms,” said Stivers.  “As a nation, we share a moral obligation to care for our veterans when they return home and to provide them with meaningful therapies to help them deal with any service-related issues they may have—whether physical or mental. I have personally met veterans whose lives have been dramatically improved through working with a service dog. It can make a real difference in the life of a wounded warrior.”

The Veterans Dog Training Therapy Act will give veterans dealing with PTSD an outlet  to constructively help themselves and other veterans.  The bill would establish a pilot program at three to five V.A. medical facilities.  These facilities would connect veterans to local therapeutic dog training organizations, which would be responsible for the dogs’ housing and care. Once trained, the service dogs would be given to physically disabled veterans to help them with daily activities.

Preliminary research by Kaiser Permanente has shown that veterans who have these service dogs show fewer symptoms of PTSD and depression, have better interpersonal relationships, a lowered risk of substance abuse and better overall mental health.

Congressman Tim Walz (D-MN) is the bill’s lead co-sponsor. 

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Tags: Veterans

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