Four legged therapy is on the ground in Surfside to help lift up families suffering the unspeakable tragedy from the June 24th collapse of a condo building.
United Hatzalah and Boriquas de Corazon brought in therapy dogs to help people cope as the search and rescue wears on.
“They get desperate and have panic attacks and stress, they think everybody is their own family, those are things we are working out to manage," said one person who brought the dogs to a family assistance center. "Everything is emotional for them.”
One dog, a King Charles Cavalier breed named Lucy, is sticking close to families inside the center to help them process their grief. Lucy is not just for comfort, but also to help people open up and provide information.
“Our job and her job was to help soften the conversations with the families and help the Israeli search and rescue people phrase it in such a way that the families would be able to give us the maximum amount of information in the minimum amount of pain," an official said.
United Hatzalah's psychotraumatic unit says specific details about the layout of their loved one's apartment - especially where they slept - might be the key to finding people in the rubble.
“Anything that can help our people back in Israel make sense from an intelligence perspective how the apartments may be laying now and where people may be found," said one member of the Israeli search and rescue team that came to Surfside to offer help.
The pups also went along with families on two visits to the collapsed site to console them in such a difficult time.
“It's a very emotional situation," one handler said. "Nobody is prepared for this, to be honest with you.“