Rescue Pup Becomes Therapy Dog

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One cocker spaniel is trying to prove the negative stereotype of rescue dogs wrong after earning her recent title as therapy dog.
News 25’s Laurene Callander introduces us to Mandy and shares her turnaround from being saved to serving the community.
Life has taken a turn for the better since Mandy met Betina Elia two years ago. “I rescued her from Tired Dog Rescue. She was left to die at a very high-kill shelter,” said Elia.
What a difference two years makes, this five-year-old cocker spaniel is now rescuing others in her new official role as a therapy dog, giving her license to visit hospitals, libraries and other facilities to help those in need. Once filled with excitement, Mandy now conducts herself as a therapy dog should, having crossed the great divide from being adopted as a rescue dog. Terry Casillas with Tired Dog Rescue said, “There are still a lot of people that think the dogs that are in the shelters are first, you can’t find purebreds and second that they misbehave or they’re aggressive. It’s just simply not true. There’s a lot of dogs in the shelter that are perfect for therapy dogs and we help her and she helps the rest of the community.”
Mandy’s main responsibility as a therapy dog is to remain calm during high stress situations and comfort those with anxiety. “Cocker spaniels are sweet, sweet dogs and she was the perfect candidate for that. She was never hyper. She didn’t jump on you. She was just always very calming,” said Casillas.
Those are the personality traits that make Mandy a well-deserved therapy dog. Now, Mandy can help others after getting her own second chance at life. “Her life has turned around so much. It’s a great beginning for her and I couldn’t be more proud of her at this point,” said Elia.