Sending Office: Honorable Steve Stivers
Cosponsor H.R. 4305, the PAWS for Veterans Therapy Act!
Cosponsors (173): Stivers, Rice,
Rutherford, Sherrill, Dunn, Cisneros, Waltz, Slotkin, D.
Joyce, Roy, Gosar, Bergman, V. Gonzalez, Gaetz, Gohmert, Murphy,
Byrne, Grijalva, Balderson, Thompson, Turner, Shalala, Gibbs, Sires, Kilmer, Cohen,
McMorris Rodgers, Hudson, Bacon, Raskin, Tlaib, Holmes Norton, Roybal-Allard, Higgins, Himes, Harder, Kirkpatrick,
Gallagher, Meadows, Wagner, Lipinski, Bustos, King, Palazzo, Moulton,
Davis, Lesko, Carson, Bishop, Jr., Riggleman, Welch, McNerney,
Stefanik, Tipton, Steube, Grothman, Wright, Banks, Neguse, Diaz Barragan, Eshoo,
Brady, Brindisi, Barr, Budd, Hagedorn, Holding, Latta, Lamborn, Young, Bost,
Johnson, Collins, Mast, Baird, J. Joyce, Green, Higgins, A. Gonzalez, Luetkemeyer, Graves, Hurd, Upton, Abraham, Harris, Hollingsworth, Hern, Huizenga, Rogers, Kinzinger, Chabot, Swalwell,
Mooney, Hastings, Pence, Katko, Perlmutter, Cleaver, Meeks, Reed, Patrick Maloney,
Crenshaw, Nadler, Roby, Womack, McHenry, Stauber, Smith, Burgess, Mitchell, Gottheimer, Van Drew,
Newhouse, Brooks, Ray Lujan, Watkins, Fitzpatrick, Wilson, Reschenthaler, Yoho, Westerman, McKinley, McCaul, Carter, Lucas, LaHood, Fortenberry, Posey, Wenstrup, Miller, Van Taylor, Ruppersburger, Kuster,
Moolenaar, Stanton, Torres Small, Malinowski, Rouda, Kind, Cuellar, Lamb,
Radewagen, Gabbard, Johnson, Cox, Clay, Houlahan, Larsen, Stevens, Luria, Kelly, Axne, Escobar, Schakowsky, Kaptur,
Duncan, Hice, Morelle, Biggs, Weber, Granger,
Hartzler, Costa, Aguilar, Soto, Spanberger, Ferguson, Norcross, Lieu, Pappas,
Allen, Levin, Walden
Please join us in supporting H.R. 4305, the PAWS for Veterans Therapy Act. As you know, our men and women in the Armed Forces suffer from invisible as well as physical wounds. Post-traumatic stress impacts between 11 and 30 percent of veterans
across all conflicts, and an average of 20 veterans a day die by suicide. Congress can, and must, give veterans the opportunity to utilize the treatments that work best for them. H.R.
4305 is a combination of two well-known policies from last Congress, the Veterans Dog Training Therapy Act, which also passed the House in the 114th Congress, and the PAWS Act.
H.R. 4305, the PAWS for Veterans Therapy Act, would authorize a pilot program in which the Secretary of Veterans Affairs will partner with non-profit organizations who specialize in working with veterans and service dogs. These organizations
will train veterans in the art and science of dog training, with preference given to organizations that employ veterans to encourage veteran-to-veteran engagement. This type of mission-based work therapy is widely recognized as beneficial for veterans suffering
with these invisible disabilities. Upon completion of the program, veterans will keep the service dog, which will provide continuing therapy and assistance, and health care providers will continue to track the progress of the therapy. Veterans may opt out
of ownership if they and their VA health care provider determine ownership is not in their best interest, or if they feel they no longer need to continue with this course of therapy.
The efficacy of these therapies has been well-documented. For example, studies conducted by Kaiser Permanente and Purdue University have demonstrated that working with service dogs alleviates symptoms of post-traumatic stress, including
better interpersonal relationships, lower risk of substance abuse, and overall better mental health. Furthermore, the Palo Alto VA already offers a service dog train-the-trainer therapy model through their Paws for Purple Hearts program.
We hope you will support this effort to treat the invisible wounds of service. If you have any questions or would like to cosponsor, please contact Mimi Bair with Rep. Stivers at email@example.com or 5-2015.
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