COVID-19 vaccine clinic workers in South Jersey find comfort from canines


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Health care professionals have been on the fronts lines of the coronavirus pandemic for almost a full year, and the response has definitely taken a toll.

To alleviate a smidge of stress for one afternoon, more than 50 workers at the Camden County Vaccination Center were greeted by their four-legged counterparts: emotional support therapy dogs.

“You just can’t beat that comfort,” said Camden County Commissioner Jonathan L. Young Sr., “that level of unconditional love that they give.”

Young and other Camden County officials thought those immunizing the public against COVID-19 could benefit from some puppy love, giving them a brief moment of relief.

“You’re staring death in the face all the time, right? At some point, it has to wear down on you, even if you are a professional,” he continued. “And I think that’s what’s really, really special about them, that unconditional love. No matter what happens that day, they’re going to lick you and kiss you and let you know that they are there for you every time.”

The specially trained dogs are from the group Crisis Response Canines, which offers strength and comfort to families, individuals and first responders during times of intense trauma or in the aftermath of crises.

“Just for those couple of minutes, for them to have a sigh of relief and be able to have these dogs come in and help them give them the peace of mind is huge, and it really means a lot to them,” said Young.

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