Puppies Rescued By Texas A&M ‘VET’ Team Provide Relief For Responders

VET PUPS

Members of the Texas Army National Guard play with puppies rescued by Texas A&M’s Veterinary Emergency Team.

By Megan Palsa, Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

While the Texas A&M University Veterinary Emergency Team (VET) has been deployed to a variety of locations along the Texas Coast in response to Hurricane Harvey, the rescued puppies receiving VET services have also served a dual role, providing “puppy therapy” for many of the responders.

“Over the course of our deployment, when we have rescued puppies that have been examined and treated and are awaiting transport to a shelter, we have often found that military personnel will just happen to stop by to chat with us, citing that they’ve heard we have puppies,” VET Public Information Officer Jennifer Gauntt said. “These responders are on the front line, seeing the worst as they work in communities devastated by the storm. When they interact with these puppies, for a moment, they are able to forget all of the destruction, and occasionally death, they have encountered. The smiles that spread across their faces when they see and hold the puppies show us the powerful effect animals can have on people who have been working in the field.”

Studies have shown that exposure to pets can alleviate stress, reduce anxiety and depression and lower blood pressure in people. Sgt. Ty Wenglar, Texas A&M Class of ’96, Charlie Company 949 BSB, Texas Army National Guard, expressed his thanks to the VET team for providing much-needed relief.

“Puppies embody the very essence of what home is. They are always loving, always playful, always happy to see you. Most of us have now been away from home for almost two weeks, with the expectation of another week or more in the field,” Wenglar said. “Getting to play with Texas A&M VET’s puppies gave us all a brief respite from the relief effort and few moments of ‘home.’”

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Media contact: Megan Palsa, Director of Communications, Media and Public Relations at the CVM at (979) 862-4216 or mpalsa@cvm.tamu.edu.


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