Therapy dog in training aims to help first responders in traumatic events and recovery

BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, TX – Licensed professional counselor Brandi Riley is spearheading an initiative to introduce therapy dog support for local first responders. Her efforts aim to alleviate stress and provide emotional support in crisis situations across the Brazos Valley.

Riley, who has extensive experience in trauma counseling, was inspired by her deployments to major incidents such as the Uvalde school shooting and the Allen Outlet Mall shootings. She says these experiences highlighted the significant impact that therapy dogs can have in helping individuals cope with trauma.

Her current project involves training a 15-week-old golden doodle named Jude through the nonprofit Crisis Canines of the Midlands. Jude’s training will include certifications in therapy dog handling, crisis response, and community engagement, with an intensive session scheduled in Iowa next year.


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