Sadness to Smiles: Job Description for a Crisis Response Dog

Job Description of a Crisis Response Dog

Reports To: Certified Handler, who may feel weepy, overwhelmed, and tired.

Job Overview: Responsible for raising the spirits of people whose lives have been dramatically changed by devastating circumstances, without saying a word.

-Success is Measured By:

  • The number of sad faces turned to smiles.
  • The number of hearts warmed for an instant.
  • The number of humans provided with a moment of normalcy.


  • Approach hundreds of strangers who may be at the lowest points of their lives.
  • Offer a warm furry body to provide comfort through the sense of touch.
  • Care about humans with every fiber of your body.
  • After comforting people you don’t know, comfort your handler.


  • Education & Certification
    • Obedience School Graduate.
    • Therapy Dog title.
  • Abilities
    • Ability to ignore food left on the floor, even if it smells really good and you are hungry.
    • Ability to maintain composure around forklifts, people yelling, babies crying, boxes falling, inclement weather, big trucks revving engines, sirens, airplanes and other chaotic noises.
    • Ability to endure hugs around the neck.
    • Ability to endure boredom while handler chit-chats with other humans.
  • Skills
    • On all types of footing, walk on a leash without pulling.
    • Sit when told.
    • Down when told.
    • Stay when told.

Physical Characteristics

  • Be a dog.