WASHINGTON D.C. — A new law is making it easier for veterans to get access to service animals. The PAWS Act will give veterans access to service dogs through the VA network.
The organization K9's for Warriors is the largest provider of service dogs for veterans, and they've been working with the VA to help get veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder access to service dogs.
They've helped put together more than 700 "warrior teams", in some cases pulling dogs from high kill shelters and pairing them with veterans who need help.
According to the National Center for PTSD, veterans with PTSD can suffer from depression, isolation, and suicidal ideations. K9's for Warriors says veterans have experienced relief from those symptoms with the help of service dogs.
These dogs are trained service dogs recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act, they're not therapy pets. The new act will create a five-year pilot program to pair veterans with these dogs, and at the end of the training, those veterans will have the opportunity to adopt the dog.