Service drives people to rehab centers with emotional support dog in tow

John McDevitt
January 21, 2020 - 4:10 pm
David Sichel and his emotional support dog Henry.

Andre Bennett/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Over the past year, Henry has helped bring people who are dealing with addiction to and from treatment facilities, offering a safe and discreet way to get help.

Henry is also a dog.

David Sichel from Trevose rescued the Shih Tzu mix last year and also launched Sober Transport, which provides reliable transportation for those seeking or receiving rehabilitation. 

Sichel, a certified recovery specialist who has been sober himself for about six years, brought Henry into the mix as an emotional support dog. Together, they offer support for the passengers and lessen their anxieties as they head to treatment centers.

“(Henry) sits there quietly. I've had addicts fall asleep on him,” Sichel said. “If you take a dog with you, like how I I use Henry, it really puts the person at ease going to treatment.”

Emotional support dog Henry
Andre Bennett/KYW Newsradio

Sichel said the need for a service like this is crucial. If a family member or loved one drives the person in need to a treatment center, Sichel said they may never even get there.

“In my own personal experience, you can manipulate somebody to take you home or not go, and that's why it's always good to have an independent person,” he explained.

Sichel also carries Narcan with him and can administer it, if need be. Next, he wants to start a nonprofit that would look after people’s pets while they are in rehab, so they can focus on recovery and know their four-legged loved ones are in good hands, too.

The nonprofit’s name: Henry's Rehab Resources.