Animal Assisted Crisis Response (AACR)
Animal assisted crisis response is a specialty area within animal assisted interventions (AAI). Trained human-canine response teams provide interventions to those impacted by crises, trauma, and disasters. The goal for the team is to assess the situation and then when appropriate can:
Facilitate a sense of emotional safety and comfort
Offer short-term anxiety and stress reduction
Begin/increase verbal communication from those impacted, offering a friendly, non-judgmental opportunity to share
Create a sense of familiarity and trust and offer collaboration between those impacted, the community, service providers & first responders
Hayl Bergeland and her dogs are certified in crisis response. Hayl is also certified in Mental Health First Aid, Psychological First Aid, and Victim Advocacy. She partners with community and state-based organizations to offer this volunteer service.
Certified crisis response teams should never self-deploy. To offer this service, it is required for schools, businesses, or other organizations to request AACR. For schools, this should be done by the school administration (school board or superintendent) or principal. All other locations or organizations should refer to their executive team, managers, or appropriate officials.
As the Chapter Leader of Pet Partners of Greater Des Moines, Hayl can also collaborate and coordinate with other volunteer teams to ensure a situation or group of individuals in need has access to more than one capable team over a specific span of time.
To learn more about this, check out the Pet Partners of Greater Des Moines Facebook page.