Both chambers of the Mississippi state legislature passed the Mississippi Support Animal Act, which would allow veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder to have service dogs in public places.
The Mississippi Senate voted in support of the bill 51-0, and it passed through Mississippi House of Representatives by a vote of 177-2.
Catherine Best, a veteran with PTSD, uses a service dog and has been fighting for years to get the state legislature to pass this bill.
“I wouldn’t be able to do anything without him,” Best told The Meridian Star. “He wakes me up from my nightmares. If I’m depressed, he’ll lick my face or ask me to take him on a walk… he will pull me out of it.”
After the governor signs it, veterans can use service dogs in public places and won’t be afraid to go everywhere with their dog.
“I guess they’re afraid? Maybe some veterans don’t want to put all of it out there,” Best said about the lack of PTSD service dogs for veterans in Mississippi. “I hope that a veteran can have the confidence to walk out of their house or apartment and don’t have to be afraid anymore.”