Having a pet can be great for everyone, but they can be especially beneficial for veterans. Men and women returning from military service often experience PTSD and other conditions, and the companionship of a dog can be life-changing.
Which is why more and more organizations and government officials are trying to make it easier to connect veterans with pets in need of a home. And this week, one state enacted a new law that is sure to benefit many vets looking to adopt.
According to WJLA, a new legislation called the Pets for Vets Act went into effect in Maryland on Friday. Introduced by State Senator Bryan W. Simonaire, representative of Anne Areundel County, the law allows military veterans in the state to adopt pets for free.
Vets who show proof of their military service will be able to adopt one cat and one dog for free within a six-month period.
Many returning vets have benefited from having a dog. According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, there isn’t currently enough research to know whether dogs can treat PTSD, but they are known to reduce stress and lift moods, which can be beneficial to those suffering.
Other laws have recently been put in place to help make it easier for veterans to adopt pets from shelters. Another “Pets for Vets” act went into law in California in 2020, and in August the White House passed the PAWS Act, requiring the VA to provide service dog training for vets with PTSD.
What great news! We hope this new law helps to unite many veterans with cats and dogs in need of homes, and that more states are inspired to enact their own laws like this.
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