Therapy Dogs Help Children Of Military Families - New York News

Therapy Dogs Help Children Of Military Families

Posted: Updated:
HIGH VIEW, West Virginia -

Parker McInerney is having a blast during his first time at summer sleep-away camp. The 11-year-old has learned to use a compass, perfected his aim and met a lot of kids like him. All the children at his Operation Purple summer camp have parents that are deployed.

Parker's dad has been in Kabul since February.

"We just get along really good because we share the same feelings," Parker says about his camp companions.

However, Parker didn't expect to make four legged friends at the camp too. And that's been a nice surprise.

"They're also just fun to be around," he says.

Rugby, the Irish Water Spaniel, and Susy Q., the German Shepherd, are therapy dogs who've offered calm, comfort and companionship at a variety of disaster zones.

But this week, they're canine campers at a camp for military children.

Therapy dogs like Rugby have a long history with the military, dating back to WWII when they helped injured soldiers. Sending these dogs to summer camp with military children is fairly new, but experts say that there are tons of benefits.

"Therapy dogs have been shown to reduce anxiety, decrease depression and increase self-esteem and confidence," says Amy McCullough of the American Humane Institute.

This is the second year that therapy dogs have been part of Camp Sandy Cove and they're now involved with all 14 Operation Purple summer camps around the country. The dogs get lots of lovin' themselves, but they're working here too.

"So at the summer camps we see therapy dogs distract kids from their worries, help with homesickness and provide conversation starters to make new friends," says McCullough.

"It makes me feel better. If I'm upset, those dogs are right next to me and I get to pet them and it makes me feel better," Jamaica Jones, an eleven year old, says.

Parker says camp has been a great experience and something he can't wait to tell his dad about.

"It's a good place to be to forget about all your worries at home and let go and have fun," he says. "I had the best time of my life."

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Only On Fox: Arsonist On The Loose In South Jersey Town

    Only On Fox: Arsonist On The Loose In South Jersey Town

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 4:45 PM EDT2014-04-16 20:45:07 GMT
    It started with a brush fire, then another fire at the rear of this home on Monroe Street and finally a blaze that swept through this vacant home up the block, just a few feet away from where Emma Sethman
    It started with a brush fire, then another fire at the rear of this home on Monroe Street and finally a blaze that swept through this vacant home up the block, just a few feet away from where Emma Sethman
  • Teenage Boy Reported Missing In Camden

    Teenage Boy Reported Missing In Camden

    Teenage Boy Reported Missing In Camden

    Monday, April 21 2014 1:06 AM EDT2014-04-21 05:06:41 GMT
    Officials say Michael Edwards was last seen when he left his home on the 700 block of Berkley Street. He is described as a black male 5’5, 120 points, with brown eyes and black hair.Officials say Michael Edwards was last seen when he left his home on the 700 block of Berkley Street. He is described as a black male 5’5, 120 points, with brown eyes and black hair.
    Camden County Police are looking for a 15-year old teenage boy reported missing Saturday night.
    Camden County Police are looking for a 15-year old teenage boy reported missing Saturday night.
  • Police Search For Person Of Interest In Collingdale Hit-And-Run

    Police Search For Person Of Interest In Collingdale Hit-And-Run

    Monday, April 21 2014 1:05 AM EDT2014-04-21 05:05:34 GMT
    A man was struck by a SUV in Collingdale early Saturday morning. Police responded to reports of a hit and run on the 900 block of Bedford Avenue around 5:30 a.m. Upon arrival, they found a Range Rover crashed into a Chrysler 300 and a man was also laying the lawn of 919 Bedford Avenue covered in blood. The victim was transported to Crozer Chester Medical Center. He is in surgery with severe head and severe lower b...
    A man was struck by a SUV in Collingdale early Saturday morning. Police responded to reports of a hit and run on the 900 block of Bedford Avenue around 5:30 a.m. Upon arrival, they found a Range Rover crashed into a Chrysler 300 and a man was also laying the lawn of 919 Bedford Avenue covered in blood. The victim was transported to Crozer Chester Medical Center. He is in surgery with severe head and severe lower b...
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Record stores survive and thrive in Brooklyn

    Record stores survive and thrive in Brooklyn

    Monday, April 21 2014 6:04 AM EDT2014-04-21 10:04:57 GMT
    When you hear about a place that still sells records, located in a hip neighborhood in the borough of Brooklyn, you enter that store with certain expectations. One of them being: you hope the guy behind the counter talks about music the way Cory Fierman does."I think it's just like the most important thing to you," he says. "I don't know how to describe it. It's the most important thing to me.
    When you hear about a place that still sells records, located in a hip neighborhood in the borough of Brooklyn, you enter that store with certain expectations. One of them being: you hope the guy behind the counter talks about music the way Cory Fierman does."I think it's just like the most important thing to you," he says. "I don't know how to describe it. It's the most important thing to me.
  • 2 children die in Queens fire

    2 children die in Queens fire

    Monday, April 21 2014 5:47 AM EDT2014-04-21 09:47:56 GMT
    Police say 4-year-old half siblings have died in a fire at a home in New York City, and the twin of one of the children has survived.
    Police say 4-year-old half siblings have died in a fire at a home in New York City, and the twin of one of the children has survived.
  • Skydiver dies after crashing into NJ backyard

    Skydiver dies after crashing into NJ backyard

    Sunday, April 20 2014 10:56 PM EDT2014-04-21 02:56:44 GMT
    New Jersey NewsNew Jersey News
    A 49-year-old sky diver from Brooklyn died after crashing into the backyard of a home in New Jersey. According to officials, Arkady Shenker wore a specialized parachute during the jump. Shenker was known to be an experienced skydiver who had over 300 jumps under his belt.
    A 49-year-old sky diver from Brooklyn died after crashing into the backyard of a home in New Jersey. According to officials, Arkady Shenker wore a specialized parachute during the jump. Shenker was known to be an experienced skydiver who had over 300 jumps under his belt.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices