We’d like to introduce you to Kaya. She is a German Shephard service dog trained to help veterans with mental health challenges.
Kaya was also the inspiration for the PAWS Act – A Veterans Affairs program that provides grants for the provision of service dogs to certain veterans with severe post-traumatic stress disorder.
Kaya has been with her handler Cole, a Marine Corps veteran, since 2014.
This is Kaya in 2016. She’s ordering a shot to celebrate the birthday of the US Marine Corps.
She has traveled all around raising awareness for service dogs.
Sadly, Kaya was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She took her final flight to pass away in her home state of Texas.
She got a hero’s send-off with the pilot acknowledging her 300+ flights to help raise awareness for service animals.
On Kaya’s trip home, the pilots made special mention of her before we took off – see below.
When we landed, we loaded Kaya onto a cart to take her out, and when we got to the top of the ramp…the entire terminal cheered and clapped for her. If you were one of them: thank you. pic.twitter.com/l11sFtDIUN
— Cole T. Lyle (@ctlyle1) February 3, 2023
Kaya passed away on February 4th, 2023.
We’d like to express our deepest condolences to Cole.