Service Dogs for PTSD Sufferers!

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Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site

The VA must stop denying the effectiveness of service dogs for PTSD and other psychiatric conditions!


In 2014, the VA announced the U.S. Veteran Service Dog Program which was intended to allow U.S. veterans with certified service dogs unlimited access to veterinary care.

Many veterans' groups initially cheered, but under greater scrutiny, the Program was revealed to be an incomplete, halfhearted measure.

Why? Because it doesn't cover service dogs for psychiatric conditions, including PTSD.

The VA's U.S. Veteran Service Dog Program covers the cost of service dogs only in cases of physical disability. Dogs for mobility, hearing, or sight are covered, but psychiatric issues like PTSD are not. The VA claims that there is not enough evidence to show that the dogs were efficacious despite countless studies to the contrary.

Countless studies disagree with the VA. The Use of Psychiatric Service Dogs in the Treatment of Veterans with PTSD, a study conducted by Craig Love Ph.D. in 2009 found that 82% of those with a PTSD diagnosis reported symptom reduction after partnership with a service dog, and another 40% reported that their use of medication decreased. Other studies have found PTSD service dogs can lessen a veteran's perception of physical pain, decrease agitation and aggression, increase social interaction and ability to manage daily living, lower blood pressure and heart rate, decrease loneliness, and ease anxiety or depression.

Clearly, service dogs for PTSD can be part of an effective treatment which improves the quality of veterans' lives, which is why the VA MUST cover the cost of service dogs for psychiatric conditions.

Not all wounds are visible. Tell the VA to change the U.S. Veteran Service Dog Program to cover service dogs for any troop that needs one!

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The Petition:

To the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs,

I am writing as a concerned citizen to you on behalf of the thousands of veterans who return home suffering from PTSD. I hope we can both agree that it is vital for the country to do all it can to assist struggling vets.

In 2014, the VA announced the U.S. Veteran Service Dog Program which was intended to allow U.S. veterans with certified service dogs unlimited access to veterinary care. Many veterans' groups cheered, but under greater scrutiny, the Program was revealed to be an incomplete, halfhearted measure.

Why? Because it doesn't cover service dogs for psychiatric conditions, including PTSD.

The VA claims that there is not enough evidence to show that the dogs were efficacious despite countless studies to the contrary.

Countless studies disagree with the VA. The Use of Psychiatric Service Dogs in the Treatment of Veterans with PTSD, a study conducted by Craig Love Ph.D. in 2009 found that 82% of those with a PTSD diagnosis reported symptom reduction after partnership with a service dog, and another 40% reported that their use of medication decreased. Other studies have found PTSD service dogs can lessen a veteran's perception of physical pain, decrease agitation and aggression, increase social interaction and ability to manage daily living, lower blood pressure and heart rate, decrease loneliness, and ease anxiety or depression.

Clearly, service dogs for PTSD can be part of an effective treatment which improves the quality of veterans' lives, which is why the VA MUST cover the cost of service dogs for psychiatric conditions.

Not all wounds are visible. Please, help our veterans cope with PTSD by covering their costs for service dogs. The studies that prove their effectiveness are there. The lives of thousands of veterans in need of help depend on you.

Thank you,

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