U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Shannon Chace

At 13 pounds, Sandy may not look like your stereotypical service dog. The Shih Tzu-yorkie mix, found abandoned in an alley, has a face that seems more doll-like than dutiful.

But for owner Teri Pleinis — a 23-year Army veteran diagnosed with PTSD after serving in Iraq — Sandy has been life-changing.

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K9s For Warriors is the nation's largest nonprofit connecting veterans to service dogs. Its program trains rescue dogs to be service dogs for post-9/11 veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and/or military sexual trauma. (K9s for Warriors)

Editor's Note: This article by Dorothy Mills-Gregg originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Lawmakers and veterans advocacy groups are ready for change after waiting nearly a decade for the Department of Veterans Affairs to change its policy on not reimbursing service dogs for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers, or PAWS, Act would require the VA to offer $25,000 vouchers to veterans suffering with PTSD for use at qualifying nonprofits. Currently, the VA only supports service dogs for use in mobility issues, not in cases that only involve mental health conditions.

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Sully the service dog of former U.S. President George H.W. Bush lays in front of Bush's casket as it lies in state inside the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 4, 2018. (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lifting his thick paw to shake, former President George H.W. Bush's service dog took an oath to serve at Walter Reed National Medical Center on Wednesday, embarking on a new job helping disabled American veterans and active-duty service members.

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U.S. Air Force/Sgt. Lilliana Moreno

A siren or alarm can trigger Sandra Ewing’s reflexes, making her believe she is back in Afghanistan.

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Paws of War

Zack McEntire is fighting battles on two fronts, serving in Afghanistan and finding a way to bring his beloved puppy home when his tour ends in about a month.

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If you want something to take your mind off the workday grind, look no further.

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