This has been a busy year for our National Dog Day heroes that I'm recognizing today. Hope Animal-Assisted Crisis Response uses their dogs to help people deal with crises and there have definitely been a lot of those in 2011.
This group currently has teams that visit natural disaster sites, shootings, train derailments, and memorials (to name a few examples). Because a crisis situation often has loud noises, bad smells, and a lot of chaos, the dogs and humans are extremely well trained. Hope AACR requires their teams to have been practicing AAT/AAA for at least a year before the team can start their AACR training. The humans have to be especially alert because in crisis it is much easier for an animal to get stressed. On top of that, these teams are made up of volunteers, which means that the people going to these nerve-wracking, heart wrenching scenes have to pay for their own transportation, vet bills, etc.
The interactions facilitated by these amazing teams are a fabulous pay off though, and make it all worth it!
Have you ever experienced a crisis? How did you cope?