‘I’m ready to go’: Therapy dogs head to Texas to help shooting victims

Therapy dogs heading to Uvalde , Texas to help shooting victims on May 26, 2022 (Photo: WOFL/NNS)

UVALDE, TEXAS (CBS) — Family members, emergency responders, school administrators and others in Uvalde, Texas will be paid a visit over the next several days by Bear Berman and his therapy dog Macy to relieve emotional and psychological stress in the wake of Tuesday’s shooting at Robb Elementary School.

Berman and Macy are one of seven teams on their way to Texas from central Florida and are scheduled to fly out Thursday morning where they have a busy schedule of meeting and providing comfort to those impacted by the incident.

The shooting, which left 18 children and one teacher dead, was allegedly carried out by 18-year-old Salvador Ramos after authorities say he shot and killed his grandmother.

Berman said they were already scheduled. They are going to the hospitals to work with the first responders, the nurses, the doctors, the families.

“Macy’s whole function is to de-stress and take away some of the internal angst that people have, sometimes it can be emotional, sometimes it’s psychological&there’s a natural ability from the dog to lighten that load, if you will,” Berman said.

“Usually there’s some hesitancy because they’re already mentally absorbed into the stress they’re dealing with. And once we break the ice with them and invite them to meet Macy or whichever dog it is, it takes a few seconds but you can see them start to decompress. And a lot of times they’ll just sit on the ground and talk to Macy. And she’s really good at it because she’ll keep your secret if you tell her.”

Berman said he got the call at 9 o’clock the day before yesterday.

“When the number came up on my phone, I just answered it with ‘I’m ready to go.’ Why else would they be calling me at nine o’clock at night?” Berman said.