Therapy Dogs Lift Spirits at Ground Zero

Therapy Dogs Lift Spirits at Ground
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
–Kate Garsombke
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