A bill has been introduced to the United States House of Representatives that, if passed into law, would create a program to provide more trained service dogs to veterans.
The bill, H.R. 3335, known as the “Pups for Patriots Act of 2017,” was introduced to the House of Representatives by Congresspersons Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX). In addition to prompting the Department of Veterans Affairs to develop a service dog program for veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD), the bill would also require the program to adhere to national standards regarding service dog training.
The bill comes as a response to an increasing need to support veterans comping with TBI and PTSD.An average of 20 veterans commit suicide every day. Scientific evidence suggests service dogs are well-suited to help veterans manage the symptoms of TBI, PTSD and related disorders. However, the current process for training dogs can cost upward of $30,000 per dog while waiting lists often require recipients to wait a year or more to receive a service dog. H.R. 3335 would likely reduce both of those figures.
The bill has received support from both sides of the aisle as well as American Humane.
“We must supply a greater number of better-trained service dogs more quickly to America’s veterans grappling with Post-Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury. The Pups for Patriots Act is a vital step forward in helping protect those who have given so much to protect us and our freedom.”
Dr. Robin Ganzert, President & CEO, American Humane
A full description of the bill, as well as a summary of its progress, can be found at congress.gov.