highland park

Highland Park Tragedy: Community Finds Solace With Help of Therapy Dogs

A team of five dogs will be in Highland Park through the week

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HIGHLAND PARK, Illinois-- The community at Highland Park continues to grieve the loss of seven of their friends and neighbors. A community, that begins to pick up the pieces and process the tragedy that unfolded that 4th of July. A set of five canines is now making it's way through town looking to cheer up neighbors struggling.

“I’m not a religious person but I think being close to animals is as close as you can get to god,” Richard Rosenberg a Highland Park neighbor said.

Five dogs of all shapes and sizes, offering a shoulder to lean on, and an ear to talk to.

“They are selfless they are there to give you love to get love back to sit on your lap to lick your face it’s completely selfless,” _____ said.

Crisis Response Canines are no strangers to tragedy, they respond when other's desperately need something to give them hope.

You just put on your big girl pants grab the dog and go people don’t hardly see us which is fine they see us from the waist down and they are just drawn to the dogs and the dogs are the ones that do all the healing,” Shirley Graziano with Crisis Response Canines said.

Shirley was in Highland Park with her dog Zodiac, one of five providing support and love to this community. Based out of Cleveland, they made the 12-hour-drive when they got notice of the mass shooting. This is Zodiac's fifth deployment this year, recently he had been in Buffalo New York, and Uvalde Texas.

“They just get into the dogs and completely forget whatever they’re feeling for that moment,” Graziano said.

“We’re like emotional first-aid,” says Shirley Graziano, team leader for Crisis Response Canine, discussing why she came to Highland Park to provide comfort to the community with her team of comfort dogs.

A few moments with a dog that could spark up an important internal conversation, one that proves the power of love behind a wagging tail.

"If it helps one person or ten people decide you know what maybe I might want to seek out a little more therapy and ends in recovery that’s what this is all about," Graziano said.

If you'd like to learn more about the Crisis Response Canines, or donate to their cause you can do so by following this link.

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