Therapy Dogs Lift Spirits at Ground Zero

| October 18, 2001

Therapy Dogs Lift Spirits at Ground Zero, Cynthia Long, American Red Cross
Amidst the rubble of New York City's ground zero, therapy dogs are providing emotional support to people struggling to distance themselves from the September 11th attacks. Cindy Ehlers, head of the Hope and Crisis Response Team and handler of two therapy dogs, says the animals have given workers and victims who otherwise might not reach out for help a reason to feel hopeful. The dogs often know who needs support the most because of a scent humans emit when they are traumatized or distressed. The simple act of touching something warm and soft, like a dog's coat, makes a difference to rescue workers who sort iron and cement all day, says Ehlers. 'Over and over again I've heard the men say, 'That dog made my day.''
--Kate Garsombke
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