Just like with FEMA’s Urban Search and Rescue dogs, comfort dogs can be a variety of breeds. The individual dog and its temperament is what really matters. You see lots of Labs and golden retrievers, but HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response has a whole spectrum of dogs: from Newfoundlands to Shihtzus and from mixed breeds to show dogs.
Teams spring into action after both manmade and natural disasters and FEMA works through HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response to activate them. HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response is a member of the National Voluntary Agencies Active in Disaster, a network of over 50 organizations committed to supporting individuals and communities impacted by disaster events. Their dogs helped us respond to the Oso mudslide in Washington state in 2014 as well as last fall’s historic flooding across South Carolina.
(see full article by Jessica Stapf here)