By: Sharon Aron Baron
You could almost say the Parkland city commission meeting had a “ruff” start when over a dozen dogs crowded the city commission chambers on Wednesday evening.
But these were no ordinary dogs. Since February 14, several dog therapy groups have been an integral part of the healing process after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shootings, and that night it was the city’s chance to give them and their owners the recognition they deserved.
Mayor Christine Hunschofsky and the city commission honored six organizations with a proclamation: Canine Assisted Therapy, Share-A-Pet, Humane Society of Broward County Canines for Community Resilience Program, Alliance of Therapy Dogs and PAWS Assistance.
Coral Springs resident Lori Bale along with her dog Daisy works with Therapy Dogs International. She said that as well as being at Marjory Stoneman Douglas every day since school resumed after the shooting, the therapy dogs have worked at the following events: the memorial at Park Trails; visiting the victims younger siblings at nearby elementary schools; greeting teachers on their first day back at MSD; the run for Coach Scott Beigel at Park Trails Park; participated in Shine Music Video; honored Guardian Angels at Pine Trails Park; and “Therapy Dog Thursdays” all summer at P-REC center.
“It was so great to have all the therapy dog organizations come together and to be recognized by Mayor Hunschofsky,” said Bale. “We may represent six different organizations, but we really are one big family with a common purpose to help Parkland heal.”