Monday, July 20, 2009

Al Franken's first goal: Service dogs for our military veterans

This blog entry IS NOT a political statement. It is meant to inform about an important piece of legislation brought to the floor by Senator Al Franken. I DO NOT live in his state and I AM NOT registered with any political party. With that said:
Sen. Al Franken unveiled his first legislative goal Monday.
Sen. Al Franken unveiled his first legislative goal Monday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Newly-minted Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, unveiled his first legislative goal Monday — providing funding to train dogs to work with wounded veterans.

"Service dogs … can be of immense benefit to vets suffering from physical and emotional wounds," Franken wrote in a column published in the Star Tribune. "Yes, they provide companionship. But they can also detect changes in a person's breathing, perspiration or scent to anticipate and ward off an impending panic attack with some well-timed nuzzling. They are trained to let their masters know when it's time to take their medication and to wake them from terrifying nightmares."

Franken, who was recently sworn-in after a nine month battle over the election results, said it costs about $25,000 to train and place a dog and noted his bill would provide hundreds of them to veterans.

The Minnesota Democrat also said there is evidence to show that this kind of program could help reduce the suicide rate among veterans.

"Frankly, I believe it is enough simply to improve the lives of those of whom we asked so much," Franken wrote. "But this program isn't just the right thing to do. It's the smart thing to do. This is win, win, win, win. I've been a senator for only a few days. But I've learned that it's better to listen than to talk, that you don't have to be a lawyer to be impressed by a tremendous jurist like Judge Sotomayor, and that I enjoy working with my Republican colleagues as much as I do with my fellow Democrats."

11 comments:

JackDaddy said...

Thank you for sharing this. I wonder why it costs $25000 for the training?

^..^Corgidogmama said...

This is one thing the Gov needs to do...it's the humane thing to do for the soldiers, coming home, wounded inside and out.
Pets heal us all. What magic they could do on the wounded. Marvelous idea, kudos to Al Franken!
Thanks so much for sharing this.

Ruby Isabella said...

Fantastic!!!! Win, win, win. That's the way forward. Thanks for reporting the good news.

Mango said...

Oh that would be wonderful. It would be a good job for the dogs and help our soldiers to feel better.

Slobbers,
Mango

The OP Pack said...

What a great program that would be. Thanks for sharing.

Dory's Backyard said...

Thank you so much for sharing!! Dogs are definitely a benefit to all!

Smileys!
Dory

JackDaddy said...

Thank you for your answer on my blog. When I lived back East, there was a minimum security Federal prison and the prisoners there trained guide dogs for the blind. It seemed to work well for everyone (and every dog) involved and lowered the training costs quite a bit!

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Tank woo fur sharing that!

WE khan make such a difFURence to a human!

Hugz&Khysses,
Khyra

Tracey said...

Right on, Al!!

Bijou said...

Hi Scout and Freyja,

Thanks for the info. We had no idea there was such a program. Mom loves the idea of putting prison inmates to work training them. Would be even better if they trained rescued dogs.

Wags & wiggles,
Bijou

Shirl said...

Hello Scout & Freyja, my daughter Jen of Jen's Petal Palace sent me to meet you, she knows how much I love dogs and thought I would like to meet you. Great program that Franken is trying to set up. I watched on PBS the show on War Dogs and thought it was wonderful how the dogs helped the soilders.
I had a German Shedherd and a Golden Retreiver. Loved them sooooo much, and still miss them. Now I have a Newfoundland and a little rescued dog that looks like a mini golden retriever.
Love your blog, I'll have to check out some of your older posts.'
Blessings to ya!
Shirl
Shirls Rose Cottage