The Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers (PAWS) for Veterans Therapy Act is a program that connects service dogs with United States military veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and is currently a pilot program at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). K9s For Warriors, an organization that provides service dogs to veterans, wrote the act and is working with the VA to implement it.
- Rory Diamond, chief executive officer of K9s For Warriors, said service dogs can help isolated veterans with PTSD get accustomed to public settings and reduce anxiety attacks over time, and also benefit veterans with traumatic brain injuries and military sexual trauma survivors.
- K9s For Warriors trains primarily rescue dogs from high-kill shelters across the country over a period of several months and then shows veterans how to use them at its campuses in Florida and Texas for three weeks, said Diamond.
- Diamond said the organization has a five-year waiting list but is building the world’s largest rescue dog training center in Florida, which will quadruple the number of warriors it can serve.