TULSA - A Tulsa-based therapy and service dog group is one of the largest service dog groups in the country but lacks funding to serve in Orlando.
Owner Marj Satterfield says Glad Wags has 30 active service and therapy dogs - selected from hundreds of candidates each year. She says about one in 20 make the cut.
"Even if you have dogs at home, if there's a dog there on site, it's always comforting," said Satterfield about service and therapy dogs serving in disaster scenes.
Satterfield said she's worked with dogs at tragedies such as Ground Zero after the 9/11 terror attacks, the OSU homecoming parade crash, as well as nursing homes, funerals and hospitals. She said well-trained dogs can bring a calming effect to victims, survivors and first responders.
Two of Glad Wags' dogs, Marley and Chase, have each visited with and brought cheer to about 300 people who needed them.
Satterfield said the group wishes they had the resources to travel to Orlando to offer support to survivors and the first responders who had to sift through the aftermath of the massacre that killed 50 and injured dozens more.
"I can just imagine being in that nightclub, trying to sort through things," Satterfield said. "And then have to come out, especially if you hear cell phones going off and [know] the person's not with us anymore."
Having been to so many tragedies with service and therapy pets, Satterfield knows dogs are the perfect medicine for broken hearts in Orlando.
"Well, dogs are God spelled backwards," she said.
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines and Daily Forecasts.