Canine Assisted Crisis &
Grief Support Team
CACGS teams* are extensively trained and certified to provide canine-assisted emotional support when partnering with
mental health, emergency response agencies, and counselors that provide emotional rescue, recovery and on-going support
to individuals who have been affected by crisis, loss of a loved one, and/or disaster.
As highly trained crisis/disaster
volunteers, members of Canine Crisis Support Team may respond locally, regionally and nationally.
We seek to:
Respond as needed in crisis,grief
or disaster situations, particularly through the use of our Certified Canine Crisis Support Dogs; and encourage and support all aspects of disaster,grief and crisis-related
volunteerism in the community.
Our volunteers are trained to serve in a variety of roles.
When working with their Canine Crisis & Grief Support Dogs, they will offer individual client care, emotional support,
comfort, and compassionate listening to those affected, as well as to responding workers and volunteers.
Less than 10% of certified
therapy dogs have the unique temperament necessary to be successful as a Certified Canine Crisis & Grief Support
Dog. This elite group of therapy dogs must demonstrate advanced therapy dog skills including the ability to remain extraordinarily
calm in the midst of crowds, noise, anxiety and situations filled with strong emotions.
What is a canine Crisis & Grief Support Team?
It is a trained certified
dog/handler team specifically educated on both ends of the leash to assist mental health workers to provide support and necessary
intervention to individuals in need on sites of crisis, trauma and disaster.
strikes a community, individual, or family, and people are working through their grief, the simple act of petting a dog
can give comfort that no words can offer.
The value of
specially trained therapy dogs during times of crisis has been demonstrated time and again.
They offer more than just a warm furry body; many dogs instinctually understand when someone needs comfort and offer
it unconditionally, without judgment or obligation.
What is the benefit of Canine Crisis & Grief Support Teams at a crisis?
It is not appropriate
to have a Canine Crisis Support Team at every crisis. Canine Crisis Response Teams are a unique treatment tool that has the
potential to enable mental health professionals and/or emergency responders to work with hard-to-reach individuals.
indicate the presence of a dog may make crisis client sessions more pleasurable and productive and improve therapeutic outcomes.
Crisis clients of all ages experience calming effects, brightening of mood and increased motivation when a dog is present
Canine Crisis Support
Teams can also help the responders. Canine teams are usually there for the crisis clients, these visits tend to provide stress
relief, lift the spirits of emergency workers and at least temporarily take their focus off of the emotionally difficult parts
of their work. The same positive physiological and psychological effects experienced by crisis clients also impact the emergency
Canine Crisis & Grief Support Team Training pre-requisites for Qualification:
Demonstrated experience and skills handling a therapy dog in challenging situations.
Level of trainings completed.
Demonstrated ability to work respectfully with people of all backgrounds and life experiences.
Have functioned together
as a certified therapy dog team for at least 1 (one) year.
Have current canine medical
records on file
Dogs' Must :
Demonstrate the ability
to remain extraordinarily calm in new and stressful situations, with no vocalization or signs of anxiety or distress.
Demonstrate the ability
to work with other dogs and people in close quarters over long periods of time.
Demonstrate ability to work effectively under a variety of simulated/actual disaster or crisis situations.