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Classified in: Health
Subjects: NPT, BFA, VET, PET

Congressional Resolution Marks Sept. 20th as National Service Dog Day

K9s For Warriors, a leader in trained Service Dogs for military Veterans with PTSD, expresses gratitude to Sen. Jon Tester, Sen. Jerry Moran, Rep. Mike Bost, and Rep. Mark Takano for championing S.Res 238/H.Res 513 

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- K9s For Warriors, the nation's largest provider of trained Service Dogs for military Veterans with invisible wounds of war, celebrated the unanimous passage of a historic bipartisan resolution designating September 20th as National Service Dog Day each year. 

The resolution, introduced by U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Congressmen Mike Bost (R-IL) and Mark Takano (D-CA), highlights the vital work that Service Dogs provide for Veterans struggling after the war and other challenges associated with military service. It notes that Service Dogs have been providing such assistance since 1929, and that evidence-based research has shown that "Service Dogs provide numerous health and fitness benefits."

"Today is a very memorable and significant day in history as it symbolizes the lifesaving role that Service Dogs play in mitigating the Veteran suicide epidemic in this country," said Carl Cricco, CEO of K9s For Warriors, noting that roughly 20 Veterans take their own life each day. "National Service Dog Day will help to recognize how invaluable these incredible canines are to our American heroes. Thank you, Senators Tester and Moran, as well as Congressmen Bost and Takano for playing such a critical role in helping to highlight the lifesaving work of all Service Dogs for Veterans and Americans with disabilities across the country."  

K9s For Warriors has paired nearly 1,000 Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury and/or military sexual trauma with highly trained Service Dogs and rescued more than 2,000 dogs. The organization has been at the forefront of empowering Veterans and greatly improving their quality of life with Service Dogs by their side.

The demand is great for Service Dogs especially since more than 20% of Iraq and Afghanistan war Veterans, nearly 15% of Persian Gulf war Veterans, and about 30% of Vietnam Veterans have been diagnosed with PTSD. Alarmingly, these numbers are thought to be underestimated given that they only represent those Veterans who have sought treatment through the Veterans Administration, which only serves about 60% of all Veterans nationwide. Organizations like K9s For Warriors have backlogs of Veterans waiting to receive a Service Dog.

Meanwhile, according to the CDC, roughly 61 million Americans are living with disabilities ? about 26 percent of the population. The resolution states there are tens of thousands of Service Dogs estimated to be working in the United States today for Americans with a wide range of challenges including ? epilepsy, visual, hearing and mobility impairments, and other disabilities.

"Service Dogs play an incredible role in helping folks?especially our nation's Veterans?heal wounds both seen and unseen," said Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs Chairman, Jon Tester. "Designating a day in their honor allows us to recognize their service, and celebrate the lasting contributions these four-legged heroes have on the lives of so many."

"Service Dogs provide life-saving assistance, help Veterans with disabilities regain their independence and offer companionship and support to our nation's heroes," said Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs Ranking Member, Jerry Moran. "I appreciate my colleagues unanimously passing this resolution to recognize National Service Dog Day ? a way to raise awareness about the unique training and tasks that Service Dogs perform to enable Veterans with disabilities to live life to the fullest."

"It's vitally important that we recognize the key role Service Dogs play in the lives of many of our nation's Veterans," said Chairman Mike Bost. "The mental health support, independence, and increased quality of life Service Dogs provide our heroes with is invaluable, which is why I am pleased to join my friends, Ranking Member Takano, Senator Tester, and Senator Moran in supporting the recognition of September 20th as National Service Dog Day to honor them, especially since this Day also falls during Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. As Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, leading efforts to improve mental health among Veterans is a top priority of mine, and Service Dogs are an important part of that conversation."

"Mental health can be helped in diverse ways, and many Veterans have found their mental health improves through a connection with Service Dogs. I am proud to join Chairman Bost in declaring September 20th as National Service Dog Day. As September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, it is crucial to keep raising awareness, and improving resources for our Veterans. Our Committee remains committed to helping our Veterans get the care and support they have earned," said Ranking Member Mark Takano.

About K9s For Warriors
Determined to end veteran suicide, K9s For Warriors is the nation's largest provider of trained Service Dogs to military Veterans suffering from PTSD, traumatic brain injury and/or military sexual trauma. With most dogs being rescues, this innovative program allows the K9/Warrior team to build an unwavering bond that facilitates their collective healing and recovery. This treatment method is backed by scientific research (from University of Arizona's OHAIRE Lab) demonstrating Service Dogs' ability to help mitigate their Veteran's symptoms of PTSD while simultaneously restoring their confidence and independence. Founded in 2011 as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, K9s For Warriors remains committed to bringing widespread awareness to Veterans' mental health and contributing to policy-level reform.

The organization's operation facilities include: K9s For Warriors National Headquarters (Ponte Vedra, FL) Davis Family Mega Kennel (Ponte Vedra, FL) Petco Love K9 Center (San Antonio, Texas) and Warrior Ranch (Helotes, TX).
Find more information at www.k9sforwarriors.org | Facebook | Twitter

SOURCE K9s For Warriors

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