Herrera Beutler Helps U.S. House Advance PAWS for Veterans Therapy Act

This week, the U.S. House passed the bipartisan Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers (PAWS) for Veterans Therapy Act, co-sponsored by Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03).

“Our brave men and women who have served in uniform know all too well the difficulties of transitioning back to civilian life. And with an average of 20 veterans committing suicide every day, and post-traumatic stress impacting up to 30 percent of veterans who have served in conflict, it’s crucial we help veterans gain access to mental health resources and therapy like this. I’m proud to support the PAWS for Veterans Therapy Act which will pair service dogs with veterans and help transform the lives of those struggling with PTSD,” Herrera Beutler said.

The PAWS for Veterans Therapy Act will create a pilot program within the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) to give veterans access to treatment derived from working with service dogs. The VA will partner with non-profit organizations working with veterans and service dogs to create work-therapy programs to help veterans learn the science of training dogs. Upon completion of the program, the veterans may adopt the dogs to provide continuing therapy.