Happy Anniversary Fozzie!
On February 25th, 2009 Scottsdale Police Department’s Crisis Response Canine Fozzie celebrated his first anniversary. As a trained therapy dog, Fozzie provides comfort and unconditional love to people in Scottsdale during times of tragedy.
He is a ‘Golden’ ray of sunshine in times of trouble.
Did you know that petting an animal will reduce your blood pressure and stress? Animals also decrease feelings of loneliness and isolation. In 2003 an eighth grader named Jeff Luttrell conducted a study for the Pueblo Middle School Fair. He wanted to see if the presence of a dog would help relieve pain and anxiety in children undergoing chemotherapy. The results proved what Jeff already knew from personal experience. The children who played with animals felt better and recovered more quickly than those who did not. A rabbit named Thumper helped Jeff during his own treatments for leukemia.
As we learn more about the human-animal bond, a growing number of organizations are using animal assisted therapy to help people cope with stressful events. In addition to Scottsdale, the Glendale Fire Department has a Crisis Response canine named Topaz. Another therapy dog named Hannah works with the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections. She helps troubled youth deal with anger and grief. In 2008, the military sent their first therapy dogs into battle. Sergeants First Class Boe and Budge are serving in Iraq with the combat stress units. Their presence helps our military personnel deal with the stress of combat and living away from home.
So again, I want to congratulate Fozzie and his handler Anthony Pagliuca on their first anniversary. I would also like to thank Michigan based Paws With A Cause for donating Fozzie to the people of Scottsdale. And a big thank you to all the therapy animals who toil to help us humans. Keep up the great work!
From left to right: Hannah, Topaz and the guest of honor, Fozzie at the Vista del Camino Community Center.
(Photo courtesy of James Vail, volunteer with the Scottsdale Police Department.)