PAW PAW, Mich. (WOOD) — Two veterans were officially issued support dogs in a new program from the Van Buren County Veterans Services on Friday.

The Emotional Support Animal Program pairs veterans who are suffering from PTSD with emotional support dogs trained by Warrior K9 in Sturgis. The veterans are interviewed and screened to make sure an emotional support animal will be a good fit. 

Scout and Piper were paired with veterans from Lawton and South Haven. The recipients will undergo a month of training with the dogs.

David Krzychi, director of Veteran Services, said the emotional support animals mean different things to different people.

“They served, right? I mean, some people have anxiety issues or depression or some guys have PTSD and this is a way, clinically proven and scientifically proven that helps people deal with those stressors that they incurred while they were in the service,” Krzychi said.

Funding for the program came from a grant from the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. With the success this year, Krzycki said the county has received funding to continue the program next year.