PAALS, Palmetto Animal Assisted Life Services, is finding new ways to help serve local veterans through a new initiative called the V.I.P. program or Veterans’ Important PAALS. The V.I.P. program will incorporate qualified rescue dogs that have passed a temperament test to be a part of our Prison PAALS program for the majority of their training. They may be considered to pursue training for service dog work, but if not, they will go to a veteran that is in need of a safe, well-behaved companion. PAALS executive director said, “While conducting interviews for service dog applicants and while running PAALS Patriots I realized there was a need for a different type of dog to help local veterans, a safe companion.” Some local soldiers and veterans battling with combat related stress disorders are greatly benefitted by a trained companion rather than a service dog.