American Medical Response therapy dogs graduate in Gulfport

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The American Medical Response of Gulfport welcomed two cute new graduates to its staff today.

Shelby and Tucker became certified therapy dogs earlier today. However, the road to certification has taken nearly two years.

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The AMR gets its puppies at the young age of six weeks old. At six months old, the dogs are tested to see if they qualify for Good Citizenship Certification.

After the pups are deemed Good Citizens, they begin a series of evaluations and trainings for up to 18 months before they can officially become therapy dogs.

AMR Deputy Chief Charles Wise tells News 25 about the impact therapy dogs have on AMR employees. “At the end of their shift they come in looking for Tucker. It’s their comfort zone. That’s where they go to relieve their stress at the time. And actually, you can tell when they’ve had a bad day because actually Tucker usually after he’s been with some of those employees that have had a really bad day, when we go home he does nothing but sleep. He’ll get in his spot and he’ll go to sleep. The difference since the pandemic began, due to the pandemic and not knowing the CDC guidelines regarding the contraction of the disease to the dogs, it has been a limited basis. But the employees still do get to see him. They have to wash their hands, they have to sanitize their hands and everything else before they’re able to see Tucker.”