Canine Companions for Independence wants to provide more mental health resources for veterans living in Massachusetts, but they said they need more funding to do that.
The organization trains and works with service dogs who assist people coping with mental and physical disabilities.
The Commonwealth’s Canine Companions chapter met with members of the state legislature’s Veterans and Federal Affairs Committee.
They let lawmakers know how service dogs help veterans living with trauma.
Jessica Reiss, the Northeast region program manager told 22News companions can be a huge help to many people.
“If a veteran is moving around in bed and having a nightmare and flailing the dog is either going to pull the covers off of the veteran to wake them up to focus them to where we are currently or jump on them and say ‘hey we’re at home, it’s ok’,” Reiss said.
The dogs are trained and in New York and before they’re assigned to a companion. A member of the organization meets with the candidate to make sure they’re the right fit.
The service dog comes at no cost to the companion, but their new owner must be able to take care of their pet’s needs.
The group didn’t specify exactly how much funding they are requesting, but they said they will be submitting a formal proposal very soon.