Miss Greenwich and Gizmo visit Washington DC on Animal Therapy Dog Day

Miss Greenwich 2016 Pippa Leigh with Gizmo the therapy dog.

Miss Greenwich 2016 Pippa Leigh with Gizmo the therapy dog.

Miss Greenwich 2016 Pippa Leigh of the Miss America Organization and Gizmo the therapy dog were welcomed on Capitol Hill in Washington, in the DC offices of Representative Joe Courtney, Senator Richard Blumenthal, Senator Chris Murphy and more on Tuesday, April 12.

They had conversations about therapy dogs and the important difference they make for all ages. Within the Miss America Organization, Pippa’s platform is Paws for Friendship: Therapy Dogs which raises awareness of the important role therapy animals play during times of trauma and crisis. Both Pippa Leigh and Senator Blumenthal hail from Greenwich, CT, and Gizmo and Representative Joe Courtney hail from Vernon.

Handler/Owner Adams and Gizmo for CERT at the Capital in DC

Handler/Owner Jen Adams and Gizmo for CERT at the Capital in DC

Pippa, Gizmo, and Gizmo’s handler Jen Adams sat down with department heads from the offices of these Congressmen to visit about the benefits of therapy animals and what our state is doing to support the hours of volunteer service the animals and their handlers provide. Therapy dogs are trained to give comfort to people other than the owner. They lend support to people of all ages in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, etc. Therapy dogs are not protected by ADA Law and must receive permission to enter a facility.  

Miss Greenwich and Gizmo were able to share in the festivities of CT Animal Therapy Day in our nation’s capitol in DC, while CT State Representative Diana Urban welcomed more therapy dog “frens” at the CT State Capitol in Hartford.  

Miss Greenwich 2016 Pippa Leigh.

Miss Greenwich 2016 Pippa Leigh.

Several groups were in attendance at the CT State Capitol Building, including some of the specially trained psychological trauma response dog/handler teams of the K9 First Responders. The CT Committee on Children has been instrumental in passing legislation to enable the use of animal therapy in Connecticut. This session, the Committee voted in favor of HB 5140, which would allow the use of therapy animals to comfort children who are testifying in certain criminal prosecutions.

If you would like more information on joining a therapy dog program, message Gizmo’s Frens on his Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/GizmosFrens/?fref=ts

Gizmo, a 3.5 pound mi-ki dog, and now has over 145,000 “frens” on Facebook. His mission is “just a dog spreading a little bit of kindness is all.” He is a member of Paws for Friendship, K9 First Responders, CERT Therapy K9, as well AKC Therapy Dog -Distinguished, and AKC Good Citizen.

You can meet Gizmo and Miss Greenwich at the upcoming Greenwich Chamber Business and Culinary Showcase at the Eastern Greenwich Civic Center on April 28, 2016 between 5:30-8:30 p.m.

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