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VA shares implementation plan and locations of PAWS Act pilot program

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    VA shares implementation plan and locations of PAWS Act pilot program

    On March 30, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published a Federal Register Notice on its plan for implementing a five-year pilot program required by the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers for Veterans Therapy Act (PAWS Act), which aims to connect veterans with mental health treatment through work with service dogs. The PAWS Act pilot program will provide veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress (PTS) the opportunity to train potential future service dogs as an element of a complementary and integrative health program.

    The pilot program will be offered at the following five VA medical centers:

    • Anchorage VA Medical Center in Alaska
    • Charles George Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Asheville, N.C. (Buncombe County)
    • Palo Alto VA Medical Center in California (Santa Clara County)
    • Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans' Hospital in San Antonio (Bexar County)
    • West Palm Beach VA Medical Center in Florida (Palm Beach County)

    The VA recently conducted a study that found pairing veterans with PTS with service dogs is an effective form of treatment for their mental health and to overcome PTS. Additionally, using service dogs, instead of emotional support dogs, resulted in less symptoms of PTS and less risk of suicide.

    County officials can raise awareness for veterans in their communities about the potential opportunity to engage in this program in the future and use evidence-based strategies to treat PTS and eliminate veteran suicide in every US county.

    Visit the VA’s Federal Register Notice for information on the PAWS Pilot program and timeline.

    Additional Resources

    • NACo Blog: President signs law authorizing service dog program for veteran mental health
    • NACo Webinar: Veteran Suicide Prevention: Strategies for County Leaders
    • Veterans and Military Services Committee
    On March 30, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published a Federal Register Notice on its plan for implementing a five-year pilot program required by the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers for Veterans Therapy Act (PAWS Act), which aims to connect veterans with mental health treatment through work with service dogs.
    2022-04-05
    Blog
    2022-04-05
Five VA medical centers have been chosen across the country to offer the new VA service dog training pilot program over the next five years Counties support federal funding to promote veteran mental health through Canine Therapy

On March 30, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published a Federal Register Notice on its plan for implementing a five-year pilot program required by the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers for Veterans Therapy Act (PAWS Act), which aims to connect veterans with mental health treatment through work with service dogs. The PAWS Act pilot program will provide veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress (PTS) the opportunity to train potential future service dogs as an element of a complementary and integrative health program.

The pilot program will be offered at the following five VA medical centers:

The VA recently conducted a study that found pairing veterans with PTS with service dogs is an effective form of treatment for their mental health and to overcome PTS. Additionally, using service dogs, instead of emotional support dogs, resulted in less symptoms of PTS and less risk of suicide.

County officials can raise awareness for veterans in their communities about the potential opportunity to engage in this program in the future and use evidence-based strategies to treat PTS and eliminate veteran suicide in every US county.

Visit the VA’s Federal Register Notice for information on the PAWS Pilot program and timeline.

Additional Resources