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Dogs get donated to crisis response team

April 15, 2020

The Clark County School District crisis response team is about to get a new member, all thanks to the valley nonprofit, 4E Kennels.

Even the way the surprise was revealed had to change because of coronavirus.

“These dogs are meant to provide healing and help through physical contact,” 4E Kennel owner Jeanette Forrey said. “Hugging and loving and touching the dogs, that’s been taken away right now.”

That’s what 4E Kennels was built on. “Going out and helping people and in this time of so much anxiety with people, we can’t send out our therapy dogs to help because of the risk of transmission,” Forrey said.

She said she doesn’t let anyone visit her dogs right now.

“I love to be able to meet people and hug people and see people, feel emotions directly with people but with COVID-19, that’s definitely given us some challenges,” she said.

But she is still getting emails and applications for her Healing Hearts program. One of them was from CCSD’s crisis response team. They’re the ones who come in when there’s a traumatic event impacting a school.

Forrey set up a video chat with them, saying she just needed to ask a couple of questions.

The crisis team is made up of 15 people. They take care of the entire school district, nearly 400,000 people including students, teachers and staff. After some freeze frames and dropped connections, Forrey revealed her big surprise.

“Congratulations!” She knew all along she was going to donate a dog to the deserving team. Forrey was a CCSD teacher for 12 years.

“When this application came across, I knew immediately they were going to get a dog,” she said. “This is huge. We have not placed a dog that will truly be able to reach and help so many people in such a crucial time of grief and sadness, helping adolescents.”

In eight weeks, Forrey will hand-pick a pup to go to CCSD. That dog will also receive free training through Norton Dog Training and will become a full-time working facility dog for the school district.

“I had envisioned being able to walk into the crisis response center with a puppy and surprising them so it was a bit of a let-down initially,” she said. “I’ll get that moment. I’ll get that moment when the puppy is trained and I see the dog working at schools and watch this journey unfold.”

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