Jeanie — Therapy

Charity Partner: Hand in Paw
Location: Lake Charles, Louisiana

Once homeless and crippled, this three-legged dog went from rescue to certified therapy dog. Jeanie works for a Children’s Advocacy Center where she comforts children who are questioned by forensic investigators in physical and sexual abuse cases, violent crimes, and even homicides. She and her owner volunteer at hospitals, schools, nursing homes, reading programs (where the photo was taken) and veterans’ homes, where Jeanie bonds with fellow amputees. Jeanie was rescued in south Louisiana when she was five months old and was adopted after a deformed front leg was removed by a local vet.
Jeanie spent a day with traumatized elementary students who witnessed a shooting in their classroom. She helped an apprehensive child speak to officers after witnessing a murder/suicide. In both cases (and others), she provided a diversion from the horrors of those events. She attends counseling w/amputees, attends children’s grief therapy, comforts students during finals week, and visits schools’ special ed classes. A veterans’ home resident w/dementia, who had been crying for two weeks, was calm & content, even joyful, during a visit w/Jeanie. A video of the pair went viral on social media. Jeanie deserves to be the American Hero Dog because she truly makes a difference by giving love, hope and comfort to those who need it most, especially frightened and traumatized children. We hope to inspire other counseling, advocacy and law enforcement agencies to consider the benefits of therapy dogs.

Voting is now closed. Meet the 2018 finalists on July 25 at 12PM Pacific Time!