Animals

Therapy Dogs Help Victims and First Responders

These specially trained dogs seek out those who are in crisis and will often be able to identify the person in the room who is suffering the most.


Victims, families, first responders, and hospital workers at Del Sol Medical Center in El Paso, TX received a visit from three special therapists this week. Instead of notepads and pens, they've got collars and leashes. Chanel, Rudy and Lady are therapy dogs brought in from a sister hospital in San Antonio.

(Source: Methodist Healthcare Facebook )

They're there to provide unconditional love and support to people who typically don't get much time to heal after these tragedies occur. The dogs can play a vital role in helping them cope.

"The rate of suicides by first responders, firefighters, paramedics, law enforcement, has escalated from one every seven days to one a day," Methodist Healthcare said in a statement. "These dogs can reach places in the heart no human can."

The dogs experienced their first flight from San Antonio to El Paso.

(Source: Methodist Healthcare Facebook )

They're trained to seek out those who are in crisis and will often be able to identify the person in the room who is suffering the most.

"It's pretty amazing to watch," one of the handlers told ABC13Houston . "It also just lightens everybody's spirits."

The dogs are trained by Service Dogs, Inc. in Dripping Springs, TX. They work with rescue dogs and career change dogs from other organizations, and they custom train each one depending on the clients' needs. SDI provides 13 weeks of in-home training to help the dogs settle in their new homes and ensure the clients' needs are being met.

(Source: Service Dogs, Inc. Facebook )

According to the SDI website, their training program focuses on a "foundation of trust and positive experiences for our dogs," and they never use punishable force.

(Source: Service Dogs, Inc. Facebook )

If you would like to make a donation to Service Dogs, Inc. to assist with training costs, you can do so by visiting their website .

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