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Earlier this week, we described the severe weather outbreak in the midwest. By Thursday, more than 60 tornadoes had touched down in Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Iowa. All the rain made swollen rivers even more flooded and left many people stranded in their cars and homes. And the severe weather is not over yet. According to Accuweather, the Missouri emergency management team is monitoring river levels on the Missouri and Mississippi rivers as they are expected to rise into the weekend, with similar flash flood risks in Oklahoma as well. So this week, we salute all the first responders and bystanders who risked their own safety and worked tirelessly to save their neighbors from flooded areas and helped those who lost their homes to begin to pick up the pieces.
Why This Matters: Millions of people around the world — including Americans — are already suffering due to climate change and it has created a refugee crisis. According to the proposal’s proponents, since 2009, a climate-related disaster has displaced about one person every second due to severe weather events, famine, drought, and rising sea levels, and other climate impacts. The United Nations believes that 22.5 million people worldwide have been displaced due to climate change since 2009 and that number could rise to 200 million forcibly displaced people by 2050. We will be confronted with this problem regardless of whether Congress passes a law allowing the government to deal with it directly.
Military dogs are often homeless once they are retired from service. And worse, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) won’t pay for veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) to adopt them or other dogs as service dogs. Congressman John Rutherford of Florida has introduced a bill — the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers (PAWS) Act of 2019 to provide funding to veterans diagnosed with PTS who would like to obtain a service dog.
Why This Matters: It would be a real win-win to see some of these dogs– or other dogs in need of homes — go to veterans who are suffering from PTS as an alternative or supplement to other treatments.