War veteran with her dog
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Could dogs help heal trauma stress?

29 December 2012 Last updated at 17:19 GMT

Research is under way to see if specially-trained dogs could help heal post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

But in the US, the government's Department of Veterans Affairs has stopped paying for a canine placement programs because it says there is no scientific proof that dogs confer any medical benefits.

Jane O'Brien reports.