Story: American Red Cross Volunteer and her Therapy Dog Support Disabled Veterans and Their Families

July 3, 2012

This story is written by Red Cross volunteer in Public Affairs Allen Crabtree.

The American Red Cross has provided support to our military and their families throughout its history as a key part of its mission to serve the American people.  No matter what time of day, any day of the year, the Red Cross quickly sends emergency communications to deployed service members on behalf of their family during a crisis, provides access to financial assistance in partnership with the military aid societies, information and referral and assistance to veterans.

There is another aspect of the Red Cross’ support to the military that is not widely known – the Red Cross partnership to make available pet therapy animals that visit military hospitals to help the healing process for disabled veterans and their families. There are thousands of active duty and retired military personnel and their families living in theColorado Springsarea, and the Red Cross has three pet therapy teams with trained Red Cross volunteers and Certified Registered Therapy Pets that work in the area.  These teams are sent to military installations, hospitals and clinics in and aroundFortCarson.

Thea Wasche has been a Red Cross volunteer for three years and is the handler and owner of Lacey, a six-year old Golden Retriever Registered Therapy Dog.   “I received Lacey when she was about two years old,” she said.  “Lacey and I have been certified by the rigorous Delta Society training program for therapy dogs, and I have been fully trained by the Red Cross.”

Wasche is a thirty-year civil servant veteran and has been around the military her entire adult life.  She now assigned to Schriever Air Force Base, so she is no stranger to the military.

“Lacey and I visit theEvansArmyCommunityHospitalatFortCarsonevery Saturday,” said Wasche.  “Lacey interacts with the disabled veterans in the patient wards.  It is wonderful to see how they react to her gentle approach and demeanor.  For many, it is the first reaching out that they have done as part of their rehabilitation program.”

Wasche and Lacey also visit outpatient clinics to support veterans receiving physical therapy and other services, and represent the Red Cross when they with the children, families and friends of fallen soldiers as part of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).

The American Red Cross has strict training and certification requirements for all therapy pets and their handlers before they are allowed to represent the Red Cross and provide their needed humanitarian healing services to these important military programs or other Red Cross activities.


SC Wildfires: Press Release 4.23.09

April 24, 2009

Red Cross Response to Horry County Wildfire

The American Red Cross continues to assist area residents displaced by the Horry County wildfires with shelter, food and mental health counseling. In addition, Red Cross volunteers are keeping firefighters and other rescue workers hydrated and fed.

“I don’t know what we would do without the Red Cross, they are providing us with water and food and helping us make sure our guys are well taken care of,” said Horry County Fire Rescue Chief Gary Alderman.

The American Red Cross distributed 455 meals this morning and prepared lunch.

Shelters remain open at the following locations:

  • House of Blues, 4640 Highway 17, North Myrtle Beach, 843-272-3000‎ (Note, this information is subject to change at any time. Call 1-800-Red-Cross to verify)

Pets are not allowed in Red Cross shelters, but the shelter at Barefoot Community Church, 701 Main Street, North Myrtle Beach, has room for 100 people with pets.

Additionally, pets can be brought to the following locations:

  • Altman Animal Clinic, 246 9th Avenue Ext., Aynor, 843-358-6745
  • Animal Supply House 523 Highway 17 N., North Myrtle Beach, 843-280-8471 – dogs less than 40 pounds and other caged animals
  • Meadowlawn Animal Services, 715 Highway 701 S., Loris, 843-756-6560
  • Murrells Inlet Veterinary Hospital, 3928 Highway 17, Murrells Inlet, 843-651-3355
  • Saint Francis Animal Hospital, Olde Highway 17, Little River, 843-249-1988

Red Cross volunteers and Emergency Response Vehicles are being deployed from across the state to aid in relief efforts.


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