Doctors from the Department of Veterans Affairs say that the benefits of service dogs working with the physically disabled are well-documented. However, there is no scientific literature that supports the theory that they are equally beneficial to those with mental scars.
An attempt to study the correlation in 2011 was suspended because of dog bites and later was canceled over concerns about the health and training of the dogs.
The VA and several new groups, including Canine Companions, launched a second iteration of the study in December. This time around, the study is bigger, more comprehensive and more tightly controlled, VA officials said.
They have vowed to answer the question: Can service dogs improve activity and quality of life in veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress?
“This is a very large and complex study. We just can’t rush it,” the VA’s chief veterinary medical officer Michael Fallon told Stars and Stripes. “We’re going to do it right.”
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