What is animal-assisted crisis response?
Animal-assisted crisis response is a type of animal-assisted intervention. I like to call these the PhDs of therapy dogs. For crisis response work, there are very few organizations that specialize in providing dogs to be able to intervene after a crisis or a disaster. Dogs in these organizations have to have been a therapy dog for at least a year and preferably worked with different populations and different settings before they are evaluated to see if they can become a crisis response dog.
These dogs are extensively evaluated and trained. They undergo initial training and continuing education. In animal-assisted crisis response, these dog and handler teams go and respond to various crises/disasters, natural or human-made, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and mass shootings.
This Ask the Expert is an edited excerpt from the webinar, Animal-Assisted Interventions to Enhance Social Work Practice, presented by Yvonne Eaton-Stull, DSW, MSW, LCSW.