The Arizona chapter of the Go Team Therapy Dogs (#goteamtherapydogs ) were featured in the local Sierra Vista paper today. There are now close to 800 teams nationwide! Read full excerpt from the article here👇👇👇
"In addition to crisis counselors, Sit-Means-Sit has sent up to 10 therapy dog teams to the school. The national nonprofit's Go Team, sent out to deal with tragic situations, has dog/handler teams offering help to those in need, said Vanessa Felker, business manager for Sit-Means-Sit. “Members of our branch’s Go Team have been there since Wednesday,” she said. “We’re just offering therapy and crisis dog services to anyone that might be having a difficult time or thought they might benefit from a therapy dog. So, we were in various classrooms with faculty and staff … kind of going everywhere we were needed.” The teams receive extensive training, she said, logging about 100 hours a year. “Our dogs are trained to go in and spend time (with people),” Felker said. In the past, the Go Team has offered up support for first responders that have been fighting fires for long periods of time. They provide that kind of support. They’re calming and something to focus on that’s not emotional and the actual situation,” she said. “(Throughout the week) we did everything from teaching kids, the kindergarten class, how to pet them and give them treats to kind of take the focus and the heaviness and just be present. They don’t ask questions. They don’t judge you. They’re there for that kind of support.” Once the school and the Go Team made contact Tuesday night, Felker described the situation as “all hands on deck” and as many volunteers as could be collected — comprised of retired military, first responders, law enforcement and teachers — assembled. “We’re completely volunteer-base, so as long as we have teams available to, and as long as they need this, we will be available,” she said.