U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and three of his colleagues introduced the Service Dogs Assisting Veterans Act. This act was through bipartisan legislation that would establish a program to award grants to nonprofit organizations to assist them in carrying out programs to provide service dogs to eligible veterans. The legislation builds on the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers for Veterans Therapy Act that was introduced by Senator Tillis and signed into law.
It is estimated that upwards of 20% of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans have PTSD and more than 450,000 service members have been diagnosed with at least one traumatic brain injury over the past two decades. As a result, these veterans suffer from alarmingly high rates of depression, anxiety, joblessness, homelessness, substance use disorder and other negative behaviors. Far too often, they resort to taking their own lives – roughly 20 veterans die by suicide each day, nearly one an hour.