Canadian Trauma Dog Working With Vegas Survivors And First Responders

It was an incomprehensible tragedy and Caber, a nine-year-old yellow Labrador retriever, has some serious work to do. But Vegas is still Vegas.
Caber and his handler Kim Gramlich of the Delta Police Department are one of a handful of K9 teams invited to Las Vegas to help victims, their families and first responders deal with their trauma and grief after the Route 91 Harvest shooting.
The pair was met at the airport by a limo driver.
“We had a bit of a chuckle,” Gramlich said on Tuesday, five days after the Delta police force duo arrived in Nevada. “We’ve been in a few limos since we’ve been here.”
“It is Vegas, after all,” he added. “We’re getting the royal treatment. But we’re more used to, for example, staying in a work camp at Fort McMurray.”
Caber, an accredited assistance dog, was the first trauma K9 in a victim services setting in Canada seven years ago, according to Delta police. He helps traumatized victims and witnesses calm down and defuse raw emotions.
Today, there are 30 such dogs in Canada and 145 in the United States.
“And just like not everyone has the disposition to be a police officer, not all dogs are capable of being police dogs,” Gramlich, an award-winning victim services worker, said.
“These dogs are the gold standard. They are highly resilient when exposed to a stressful environment and a lot of emotion. They are highly trained. When sirens are going off or there is wailing and crying, they are non-reactive.”
Caber, trained by the Pacific Assistance Dog Society, has greeted people at the family assistance centre at the Las Vegas Convention Centre and hospitals, getting petted and snuggled with.
“There has been a tremendous amount of loss and a high degree of trauma,” Gramlich said. “This is where the dogs do their best to help.”
Source: Vancouver Sun/Stephanie Ip/Gordon McIntyre
Photo: © HANDOUT

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