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    The American Red Cross comfort dogs provide paws-itive energy to Army engineers in Korea

    The American Red Cross comfort dogs provide paws-itive energy to Army engineers in Korea

    Photo By Chong Yun Kim | Chip licks the hand of one of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Far East District...... read more read more



    Story by Chong Yun Kim 

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Far East District

    USAG Humphreys, Republic of Korea – With an abundance of tail wags, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Far East District (FED) welcomed comfort dogs to spend time with its employees as part of a wellness initiative on March 20, 2024, at Camp Humphreys.

    To support Soldiers and civilians in wellness and resiliency, the American Red Cross Animal Visitation Program (AVP) brings dogs to workplaces to interact with personnel and offer healing and comfort. These dogs are American Kennel Club (AKC) certified Canine Good Citizen (CGC) dogs that have been approved to volunteer at various installations across the peninsula.

    The happy feeling from the dogs was contagious as they brought smiles to each visitor and warmed their hearts.

    “The dogs added a nice break to my usual work routine as well as boosted team spirit,” said Staff Sgt. Krisynthia Sullivan, a SkillBridge intern from the 11th Engineer Battalion working at the FED. She stopped by the event to pet dogs, relax and casually talk with coworkers.

    “This is a garrison approved program that allows the AVP dogs to volunteer within government buildings upon request,” said Sarah Woody, strategic engagement coordinator, FED Programs and Project Management Division. “There are currently nine dogs in the program, and they are required to wear their Red Cross gear while working events in official capacities.”

    Woody and her husband both enjoy volunteering and giving back to the community, and they have really enjoyed getting to have their dog, Chip, a 3-year-old Pomeranian, be a part of that.

    “We have supported various AVP events across Camp Humphreys and the Peninsula and have really grown to appreciate the morale boost that the dogs bring anywhere they visit,” she said. “I wanted to share that with FED.”

    Woody organized this event as an AVP point of contact for the district and participated along with Chip.

    “Chip’s goal at any event is to get every single person to interact with him,” she said. “He enjoys getting pets, being held and cuddled, and showing off his repertoire of tricks.” Woody stated that Chip recently earned his American Kennel Club (AKC) Novice Trick Dog title.

    Participating dogs are required to pass the AKC CGC test, which is a 10-step behavioral test. Additionally, they must be medically cleared by the clinic that they are healthy and fit for the program before they can officially become a Red Cross AVP dog.

    “It’s easy to get caught up in the rush of work as we are all very busy at any given time,” said Woody. She would love to organize future Wellness Wednesdays if the district feels that the program was beneficial and people enjoyed it.

    “I liked the idea of coordinating an event that wasn’t necessarily work oriented but brought people together due to their love of dogs and gave them a nice pick-me-up for the rest of the work week,” she said.



    Date Taken: 03.27.2024
    Date Posted: 03.26.2024 20:32
    Story ID: 467107
    Location: PYEONGTAEK, KR

    Web Views: 51
    Downloads: 0