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‘Jasmine’ Arrives At Potter County Human Services

January 28th, 2021

Potter County Human Services (PCHS) last week welcomed its newest staff member from Cypress, Texas. Jasmine, a German shepherd mix rescued from a shelter, is in training to comfort traumatized children who are engaged with the Children, Youth and Family Services Department. Tom Patterson (above, fourth from left), director of the department, is being trained as Jasmine’s handler and caretaker. “Jasmine has special skills to help children and other individuals who are dealing with difficult situations,” Patterson explained. “She has the skills to identify and comfort those who may be experiencing trauma or stress.”

Funding comes from a state block grant. Animal-assisted therapy has been gaining popularity. Unlike service dogs, therapy dogs are encouraged to interact with a variety of people, which eases tensions for victims, family support members and caseworkers. The human-animal bond has been shown to increase a traumatized individual’s trust in humans. Using therapy dogs in response to traumatic events can reduce depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety.

Above, some of the staffers from Potter County’s Children, Youth and Family Services Department pose with the latest addition to their team. At right, Commissioner Barry Hayman took a liking to Jasmine.


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