Service dogs were sent to El Paso,TX to help treat first-responders after the August 3rd shooting. That mass murder tallied 22 dead and 24 injured, after a lone gunman opened fire at a Walmart. The canines that were trained by Service Dogs, Inc. arrived August 4, Sunday morning to commence their work. The commission was organized by Methodist Healthcare EMS from San Antonio.
Service Dogs, Inc.
Founded in 1988 by attorney Sheri Soltes, Service Dogs, Inc. builds better lives for Texans overcoming challenges through partnerships with custom trained Assistance Dogs, provided free of charge.
- Bring greater independence to wounded veterans and others living with disabilities through partnership with a working dog
- Help abused children find their voice in court
- Provide our first-responders with a healthy way to process the stress, trauma and grief they encounter daily on the job keeping us safe
- Provide abandoned, unwanted dogs and career change dogs renewed lives of love and service
Dogs commence their commission . . .
It didn't take long for service dogs, Chanel, Lady, and Rudy, to board a plane with their handlers and head to El Paso. That was this team of dogs' first flight ever.
"They are already providing their unconditional love and support to first-responders, helping them cope through this traumatic time," Methodist Healthcare System wrote on Facebook.
In El Paso the dogs visited hospitals, providing support and comfort to shooting victims and their families as well.
One might think first-responders have strong wills to do their job. But that is not the case for all of them. Some, including firefighters, paramedics and law enforcement officers are known to commit suicides. To thwart that outcome, comfort dogs like those sent to El Paso can provide the needed comfort in a timely fashion.
A study from Washington State University found that petting a dog for just ten minutes a day can significantly reduce the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.
"You will actually see them head straight for a person that's displaying the most distress. It's pretty amazing to watch," researchers noted. "It's heart-melting to see them interact with the patients and you know they're making a positive impact."
Service Dogs helped in other shootings . . .
Well-trained canines are regularly used to help those who have experienced trauma. Fourteen dogs comforted the teens at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the aftermath of last year's massacre in Parkland, Florida, CBS Miami reported. The dogs were so beloved, they were even honored in the school yearbook. After the Orlando nightclub shooting, a pack of 12 golden retriever K-9 Comfort Dogs were deployed to help victims of the tragedy feel safe. Unfortunately, the work continues, with too many locations and victims to mention here. But our hearts go out to them and the dogs that came to them, in their time of need.
Primary Source: Service Dogs, Inc.