Pack of therapy dogs dispatched to California to ease wildfire, shooting trauma

Tim Jimenez
November 12, 2018 - 8:23 am
Preston, a therapy dog, provides comfort in Michigan.

Sarah Lehr/Lansing State Journal via USA TODAY NETWORK

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A team of comfort dogs and their humans from the Tri-State K-9 Response Team out of Cherry Hill, N.J., are in California to help those affected by the wildfires and the mass shooting in Thousand Oaks. 

The nonprofit was initially sending the dogs to help the people affected by the mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, as they have in the past in Orlando, Parkland, and Las Vegas. But with the wildfires so destructive and so many people out of their homes, these comfort dogs have more people to reach.

Janice Campbell with the response team says these dogs can sense the people who need comfort. One is named Cece. 

"She'll go up and she'll offer herself to them. She'll cuddle in, she'll let them hug her. Really spend time with her where they can decompress and really start to grieve and talk about what has happened," Campbell told CBS 3 Eyewitness News before the team left on Sunday.

"We're gonna hit the ground with all paws working," she said. "We're gonna be going out to the fire departments. We'll be working alongside of the traumatic loss coalition in our hotel, working with the victims who have been evacuated."

The group posted pictures from the memorial that was set up to honor the victims.

The human members of the team are retired police officers, teachers, mental health professionals and others. All will stay in California through Thursday.>

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