(WIVB) — Congressman Brian Higgins announced today the House of Representatives approved the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers (PAWS) for Veterans Act.
The bill, co-sponsored by Higgins, launches a pilot program to give veterans with PTSD access to service dogs.
According to Higgins, under the legislation, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs would oversee a five-year pilot program in coordination with select VA medical centers giving eligible veterans diagnosed with PTSD the chance to train and adopt the service dogs.
Higgins also says the VA would contract with certified nonprofit groups to assist with training and implementation to meet the needs of each veteran.
“The sacrifices made by servicemembers and their families are great. We owe veterans every opportunity for a successful and happy life when they come home. The connection and companionship that comes with a trained service dog can be a valuable tool in overcoming PTSD,” Higgins added.