112014 js 0553SPRINGFIELD- To help alleviate the shortage of service dogs for veterans, State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) advanced House Bill 2897.

Cullerton has been working to make service dogs more readily available to veterans to help combat symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

“There is a stigma within the veterans’ community on using traditional treatments for PTSD,” Cullerton said. “Service dogs provide our returning veterans a means to combat stress and symptoms of PTSD that can potentially save lives and help ease the transition to civilian life.”

Cullerton, a former infantryman in the U.S. Army, served as a chairman on the Veterans Suicide Task Force last year. The report he released found the use of service dogs could have a real impact on lowering the number of veteran suicides in Illinois.

“Service dogs could the part of a comprehensive solution to end the veterans suicide epidemic,” Cullerton said.

House Bill 2897 will allow Helping Paws Service Dog Program to include training service dogs for veterans with PTSD or depression. Previously, the program had only allowed the Department of Corrections to establish a dog training program to train committed persons to be service dog trainers and animal care professionals.

Cullerton hopes through expanding the program Illinois will be better equipped to address the need for service dogs for Illinois’ veterans.

House Bill 2897 passed the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs with bipartisan support and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

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Welcome to the official website of Senator Tom Cullerton. Please fill out our contact form to contact Senator Cullerton directly or you may call either of our offices. We look forward to hearing from you.

District Office
338 S. Ardmore Ave.
Villa Park, IL 60181
P: (630) 903-6662
F: (630) 903-6643

Springfield Office
122 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
P: (217) 782-9463