Service Dog Who Inspired The PAWS Act For Veterans Honored On Her Last Flight

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Service Dog Who Inspired The PAWS Act For Veterans Honored On Her Last Flight


Kaya, the German Shepherd who motivated the PAWS Act, was honored on her final Southwest flight. The sweet Service Dog had actually flown over 250 times to help her handler lobby congress and pass the historic PAWS Act.

After being identified with incurable cancer cells, Kaya took one last flight to where she would certainly be laid to rest.

When Cole Lyle was fresh out of the Marine Corps, he located himself struggling with the symptoms of PTSD. Not only that, however he wasn’t having the simplest time dealing with the deaths of buddies and fellow veterans who died by suicide. Cole, thus lots of other service participants, did not locate relief from traditional therapies.

But everything transformed in 2014 when Kaya came into Cole’s life. After learning that the VA did not readily give service animals for veterans suffering from PTSD, Cole bought Kaya from a breeder and paid of pocket for her specialized training.

Luckily, Cole discovered that he had a buddy that trained service canines for veterans with PTSD, and he provided to train Kaya at an extremely discounted rate.

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“Service dogs are especially trained to do certain things, such as wake somebody up from a nightmare and assist with anxiety attacks. The temperament, the specific training, and the price to pay the people who train the dog are all factors to consider when pricing a service dog. The average cost is probably closer to $20,000,” said Cole.

Kaya’s companionship altered everything, and Cole finally experienced symptom relief. He felt extremely fortunate and wanted to assist other veterans battling with PTSD obtain service canines. So, inspired by his very own experiences and with Kaya by his side, Cole persistently pursued the passing away of the PAWS Act. Starting in 2015, the pair flew over 250 times to lobby for the cause.

Thanks to the job of Kaya and Cole, The PAWS Act ( likewise known as The PAWS for Veterans Therapy Act) was finally signed in August of 2021. Essentially, The PAWS Act needs that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provide gives to companies that train service dogs and after that matches them with veterans.

The PAWS Act likewise changes the previous laws that only allowed service canines for veterans with mobility impairment. Currently, experts are able to get a lifesaving service animal for post-deployment mental health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

According to the USA Department of Veterans Affairs, an alarming average of 20 veterans die from suicide each and every day.

“Kaya’s greatest tradition is– and always will certainly be– the veterans who reached out and told me that she inspired them to get their service dog, and if they had not, they would certainly have killed themselves,” says Cole.

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Since Kaya has crossed the rainbow bridge, Cole is completely heartbroken. But he takes solace in knowing that his sweet Shepherd has assisted make such a big effect in the lives of so many veterans struggling with PTSD.

On her final flight, the pilot, also a veteran, announced over the plane’s loudspeaker that this flight was Kaya’s last. You can check-out the video of Kaya being honored during her last flight below.

Rest in peace, wonderful girl.


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