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Man’s best friend is welcome when disaster strikes, the Comanche County commissioners decided Monday morning.
The commissioners decided to approve a memorandum of understanding between Comanche County and Paws with Love during the regular weekly meeting at the Comanche County Courthouse. Paws with Love is a nonprofit organization that brings trained therapy dogs to people who have experienced traumatic events like natural disasters. A therapy dog is chosen for its friendly nature and trained to be obedient and well-behaved around people in all sorts of situations.
Comanche County Emergency Management Director Chloe Lewis told the commissioners that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has used therapy dogs to help people cope emotionally during high-profile disasters like Hurricane Katrina, which hit the Gulf Coast a few years ago.
“They are very calming to people,” Lewis said of therapy dogs.
However, she said therapy dogs were not able to enter all places during last year’s Moore tornadoes, because the city did not have a memorandum of understanding with the relevant organizations.
The agreement costs the county nothing, just explicitly states officials can allow therapy dogs and handlers from Paws with Love into disaster areas and shelters.
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