Crisis Response Canines in Nashville following school shooting

Therapy dogs provide emotional support in the wake of tragedy.
The trained dogs will be helping people after the Covenant School shooting.
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 6:45 AM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - If you find yourself needing a little therapy after Monday’s tragedy, there’s a team of furry friends in town that could help.

Six teams of dogs and their handlers from the Crisis Response Canines are in Nashville this week following the tragedy at the Covenant School. Crisis Response Canines is a nationwide 501c3 volunteer organization based in New Jersey. These dogs are specially trained to comfort and emotionally support people after a traumatic event.

“It’s always toughest with children, no doubt about that,” says Shirley Graziano, owner of Zodiac. “The dogs absorb a lot of grief.”

They’ve been all over the country following mass casualty incidences like the Las Vegas country music festival shooting, the Uvalde school shooting, and even that major building collapse outside of Miami last year in Surfside, Florida.

Six dogs from the 50-60 dog and person team will be providing support to the Covenant victims’ families, Metro police officers, and students and staff at the school.

It’s been scientifically proven that these dogs can help lessen stress after a traumatic event.

“Just 5-12 minutes of interaction with the dogs will cause your body to lower its blood pressure, release oxytocin and physiological changes that help you to calm and revitalize,” explains Bear Berman, owner of Macy.

The dogs and their handlers are strictly volunteers, so any donation is most welcome to keep their program going. You can find out more information by clicking here.

“You just keep going and you just keep doing it,” says Diane Eyring, owner of Murphy. “We’re all glad we’re doing what we do because we do see that it makes a difference.”

Crisis Response Canines will be in town all week through Monday, April 3rd.