Support Therapeutic Service Dogs so Veterans can Recover from PTSD
  • Petitioned Department of Veteran Affairs & Senate Committee considering H.R. 2074

This petition was delivered to:

Department of Veteran Affairs & Senate Committee considering H.R. 2074

Support Therapeutic Service Dogs so Veterans can Recover from PTSD

    1. Ramon Montoya
    2. Petition by

      Ramon Montoya

      Dallas, TX

A service dog trained to assist a veteran suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) can literally be a lifesaver. Preliminary studies have shown that 82% of PTSD patients given dogs reported a reduction in symptoms. With 18 vets committing suicide every day and projections that 20% of returning vets will suffer from PTSD, better resources are needed to help veterans with mental health issues.

We, the signers, request that H.R. 2074 provide resources broader than just a pilot program to pair veterans with service dogs. The VA should work with local dog training and adoption organizations that already have experience providing service dogs for PTSD victims, benefitting from their expertise. By providing this type of compassionate alternative care, the VA can help treat vets with PTSD, and hopefully reduce instances of suicide as a result of mental illness.

Traumatic combat experiences and months of being subjected to a high-anxiety environment leaves many returning vets with residual mental health issues. Such issues range from depression and insomnia, to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These mental health issues have resulted in violent crime, suicide and even homicidal behavior. Mental health is the foundation for ensuring that vets are able to get a job and re-integrate productively into civilian life.

The Army Surgeon General’s office recently expressed concern with the over-reliance on strong prescription drugs for post-combat mental disorders. Given debate over the diagnosis and treatment of PTSD, providing service dogs for vets is a compassionate and effective form of alternative care. Preliminary studies have shown that 82% of PTSD patients paired with dogs reported a reduction in symptoms.

There are numerous reputable organizations such as K9s for Warriors (http://www.k9sforwarriors.org), Pets 2 Vets (http://p2v.org/) and Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities (http://www.ecad1.org/)  and www.shepherdsforlostsheepinc.org and www.vets4vets.org that could partner with the VA, local shelters and the veteran communities to help pair veterans with service dogs.  

With four million shelter animals put down each year, and so many veterans suffering in silence, the best possible scenario would be to provide veterans with the love and companionship with dogs who are also in need!

Recent signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Gary Marshall Mentzer CALDWELL, ID
      • about 2 years ago

      I am a combat veteran who is service-connected for PTSD. My service dog enables me to get past my isolation which allows me to deal with the trauma of my combat experiences. Unfortunately, over the past years, I have seen other veterans, including myself, harassed and discriminated against when entering the VA Medical Center for medical treatment with our service dogs. Numerous times the VA police have stopped veterans at the Medical Center and told them that their service dogs were not allowed in the hospital. Without my service dog, I cannot control my anxiety, remain calm and stay for medical treatment. Personally, I do not feel that I can receive proper medical care through the VAMC because of the treatment I receive from the police and some staff because I bring my service dog with me to appointments..

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    • David Hale WILSEY, KS
      • over 2 years ago

      Because they did nothave this type of program when I was Active duty. I want to see the SUICIDE RATE GO DOWN WITH THIS TYPE PROGAM.

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    • Lavonne Rice-Gordon BILLINGS, MT
      • over 2 years ago

      I know dogs can be very therapeutic

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    • Cindy Berg HARLOWTON, MT
      • over 2 years ago

      My daughter has been living with PTSD for the past 17 years after severe tramua as a child, unfortunately she is currently an inmate at the Women's Prison, but is working on the "Dog Pod"and it has been a life saver.

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    • marion Garman LAS VEGAS, NV
      • over 2 years ago

      Veteran with PTSD

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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