Therapy dogs play role in police mental health

Imagine the emotional toll of other El Monte police officers after the deaths of two of their own. Therapy dogs were brought in to help support the grieving department, says Gil Escontrias, founder of Blue Line LA Dogs.

Escontrias says therapy dogs are part of a growing role in mental health care within police departments. He calls it psychological first aid and is part of a larger concept of psychology and mental well-being for first responders.

Blue Line Dogs LA advertises itself as “by first responders for first responders”. There’s Scout, a black Labrador.

There is also a schnauzer, a poodle spaniel mix, a yellow labrador. Escontrias became an army dog ​​handler and continued to train dogs for decades.

Escontrias was a detective and spent 36 years with the LAPD last working on crimes against children.

We’ll have more on Blue Line Dogs LA on FOX 11 News In Depth Sunday on Fox 11 at 9:30 a.m., then on our sister station, KCOP-13 at noon.

About Stephen Ewing

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