House Adopts Amendment to Connect Soldiers and Service Dogs

On June 18, 2014, the US House of Representatives adopted an amendment to the FY2015 defense appropriations bill to improve the lives of wounded warriors through better access to service dogs. Offered by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), Walter Jones (R-NC), Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH), Niki Tsongas (D-MA), and Gwen Moore (D-WI), the amendment provides that $3 million is to be allotted to a pilot competitive grants program to assist qualified non-profit organizations that train and place service dogs with members of the military and veterans with certain physical and mental health needs, including post-traumatic stress disorder. Many of these organizations train shelter and other rescue dogs for this purpose. (See Winter 2014 AWI Quarterly.) This pilot program will enhance the ability of qualified organizations to place service dogs with veterans and service members needing them. Rep. McGovern is also the sponsor of a stand-alone bill, H.R. 2847, that would make such a competitive grant program permanent at a higher level of funding.

Please urge your US representative (http://www.congressweb.com/awi/legislators) to cosponsor H.R. 2847 (http://www.congressweb.com/AWI/32), as well as H.R. 4148 and H.R. 4525.