HADDON HEIGHTS, N.J. (CBS) — A special team from South Jersey is deploying to help survivors of the tragedies in California including the ongoing wildfires and the bar shooting in Thousand Oaks.
The Tri-State Canine Crisis Response Team from Haddon Heights, New Jersey includes retired police officers, mental health professionals, teachers, a business owner, and specially-trained canines.
The team of six and their dogs will deploy Sunday to assist victims and first responders the mass shooting. They will also offer aid to the first responders of the wildfires devastating parts of California as well.
However, the team says it’s not what they hope to get out of the trip, it’s what they hope to give.
“They can decompress and start to grieve and process what has happened,” explains Janice Campbell, of the Tri-State Canine Response Team.
Each dog and their personality has the ability to provide comfort to victims and survivors in a special way. The canines consist of some golden retrievers and a Maltese mix will serve on this trip to help victims because they have the right temperament to be an emotional support dog.
“We will take any dog so long as the right temperant, the right training, the right obedience and they are able to go through the screenings and to help,” says Campbell.
The non-profit doesn’t discriminate against dog types so long as they have are suitable for helping people in need, according to an official from the team.
On Monday, the team will work alongside the Traumatic Loss Coalition to help victims and hope to visit as many people affected by these devastating events with the dogs. They will return Thursday.
In the past, the team did similar work in Orlando after the Pulse Nightclub shooting and also in Parkland, Florida following the mass shooting, in Las Vegas, and many other communities now marked by tragedy.
For more information about the Tri-State Canine Crisis Response Team and their service, you can visit their website.