Local Therapy Dogs Heading to Florida to Help First Responders

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As the Hurricane Michael relief effort continues first responders need some help as well.

This morning the Amarillo chapter of American Medical Response left for Florida with their therapy dogs.

They have been deployed as part of FEMA’s response in the aftermath of the deadly storm.

AMR Project Coordinator Lauren Christie and her dog Saydee will work to relieve those who have been aiding in search and rescue efforts following the devastation of Category 4 Hurricane Michael.

Saydee is trained to pick up on when people are not feeling well and comfort them in the wake of their trauma, but this is not her first gig.

Saydee and her friend Bohdi traveled to Las Vegas last month for a memorial one year after the deadly mass shooting where they comforted survivors and first responders, just as they will now as they head to the Florida Panhandle. 

“It can be very stressful, you know, seeing the emotional stress of the community that they’re, you know, there for and it sometimes comes onto them and projects onto them,” said Christie. “So if we could relieve any of that emotional stress then, of course, we try to do that with the pups.”

Christie said she has been working with Saydee, her two and a half-year-old golden doodle for more than a year now on several different emergency deployments.

The Amarillo Chapter of AMR and their therapy dogs will be there in the Florida Panhandle for two full days, not including travel, helping to relieve those who have been working day in and day out to restore the people displaced by the storm.

Christie told us FEMA has deployed more than a 1,000 AMR personnel to help EMTs and paramedics in Hurricane Michael relief efforts.

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