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Herrell Wants Faster Process for Getting Service Dogs to Vets in Need

November 12, 2021 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON — Rep. Yvette Herrell, R-N.M., is urging her colleagues to support the Veterans’ Affairs Canine Reporting Act of 2021, which would speed up the process for America’s veterans who need service dogs from the VA. 

“Tragically, since the Vietnam War, suicide and mental health issues in the military have steadily increased,” Herrell said in a written statement. “Many of these suicides are due to post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. 

“Service dogs have long been a helpful and necessary resource for veterans in their everyday lives, but veterans often end up waiting a year or more before being paired with a loyal canine companion,” she added.

Service dogs have proven to be a vital tool in promoting mental health and giving physical assistance to former members of the U.S. military.

As many as 20% of veterans who served in operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom are affected by post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Service dogs can perform a variety of tasks for these individuals  such as providing tactile stimulation to help the veteran cope with anxiety or panic attacks, or standing directly in front of their handler in a crowd to give the veteran space from others.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.

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