WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, May 13, 2021 — The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers (PAWS) for Veterans Therapy Act, which would establish a pilot program to fund service dogs for veterans diagnosed with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. American Humane’s president & CEO Robin Ganzert, Ph.D., applauds the House for taking action and released the following statement:
“In an era of ever-increasing inaction and partisan gridlock, American Humane is encouraged by the broad support in Congress for the healing power of the human-animal bond.
America’s brave men and women in uniform put their lives on the line to defend our freedoms. Too often, the transition to civilian life is fraught with difficulty as many struggle to heal from the invisible wounds of war. Up to one in five veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are diagnosed with PTS in any given year, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The passage of the PAWS for Veterans Therapy Act comes on the heels of a recently released Veterans Health Administration study that provides quantifiable evidence that well-trained service dogs can mitigate the symptoms of PTS.
We hope the Senate will quickly move to take action to help veterans but importantly include language that ensures taxpayer dollars are not going to service dog organizations that allow the barbaric and cruel use of shock collars or electrocution to train dogs.
Politicians on both sides of the aisle should seize this moment for what it is – an opportunity to provide meaningful help to our nation’s veterans and its service dogs.”
In March, American Humane launched its Shock Collar Pledge asking organizations and trainers to immediately stop the cruel and inhumane use of shock collars as part of their training methodology. The use of shock collars is an unethical and inhumane practice that should be halted.
About American Humane
American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization. Founded in 1877, American Humane is committed to ensuring the safety, welfare, and well-being of animals, and our leadership programs are first to serve in promoting and nurturing the bonds between animals and people. For more information or to support our work, please visit www.americanhumane.org.