Two Paramedics with two teams with Golden Retrievers
One Paramedic with three teams with Golden Retrievers and a pug

When Texas communities experience untoward natural or man-made events that cause disruption and pain the presence of therapy animal teams can provide comfort, strengthen a sense of community, enhance coping, and facilitate responder interventions. In 2020 Therapy Animals of San Antonio developed and implemented the CARE (Crisis Animal Response) Program in order to rapidly deploy specialized animal therapy teams across the state of Texas; as well as to support area schools during critical incidents.

Critical Incident Support

Therapy Animals of San Antonio has memorandums of understanding with several area school districts which support CARE Teams responding to schools to assist school professionals in counseling students, staff and teachers when a critical incident has occurred. Incidents might include the unexpected death of a student, teacher or staff or a difficult shared event such as a lock down, when it is determined that sensitive notification and discussion of the event will benefit those involved.

Deployments across Texas

Providing quality, timely support to Texas communities requires collaboration with established state, region and city response systems and experienced animal therapy teams with extensive crisis response training working with strong organizational support. CARE is a member of San Antonio VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters), belongs to the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and networks with disaster response and animal experts throughout Texas. We also attend Texas Department of Emergency Management conferences and training sessions.

Our program adheres to national animal assisted crisis response standards for team selection, training and health; handler certifications and education; field readiness; leadership; ethics, including confidentiality; and deployment operations. Teams are compensated for training; as well as travel and lodging when deployed. Our CARE Teams are an identifiable, unified, professional group with all the supplies, equipment and operational support needed to organize, work and communicate under most crisis and disaster circumstances.

Learn More About Therapy Animals of San Antonio and the Crisis Animal Response Teams