This bill implements a program and a policy related to service dog therapy for veterans. Specifically, the bill requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to implement a five-year pilot program to provide canine training to eligible veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as an element of a complementary and integrative health program. Eligible veterans are those who are enrolled in the VA health care system and have been recommended for participation by a qualified mental health care provider or clinical team.
The VA must seek to enter agreements containing specified elements with accredited nongovernmental entities that have demonstrated ability to provide canine training.
The Government Accountability Office must brief Congress and submit a report on the program.
The bill also authorizes the VA to provide service dogs to veterans with mental illnesses, regardless of whether they have a mobility impairment.
House – passed 5/12/2001
AMAC Letter of Support