WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), announced her co-sponsorship of the Puppies Assisting Wounded Service members (PAWS) Act, bipartisan legislation to help improve the quality of life of U.S. veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) by providing them with access to service dogs.
“Our nation’s veterans are American heroes who have sacrificed in service to our nation, and we must do more to help treat those suffering from trauma,” said Senator Rosen. “I’m proud to help introduce bipartisan legislation that pairs service dogs with veterans suffering from mental health conditions to help them successfully reintegrate into civilian life. I will continue working to provide our veterans in Nevada and across the nation with the critical mental health care resources they deserve.”
BACKGROUND: Nevada is home to 225,000 veterans.
Specifically, the PAWS Act would:
- Establish a 3-year program in which the Secretary of Veterans Affairs would provide grants of up to $25,000 per veteran to eligible organizations to pair veterans suffering from severe PTSD with service dogs.
- Authorize a total of $10 million to carry out the program from FY 2022 through 2024.
Although the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) covers service dogs for veterans with physical disabilities, it does not currently cover service dogs for veterans with PTSD, despite evidence of the efficacy of service dogs for this type of treatment.
A recent study by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) found that participants who were given service dogs experienced a reduction in their PTSD symptoms and had fewer suicidal behaviors and ideations.