Courses in Canine Disaster Relief Services

Canine Disaster Relief Services


Human Animal Bond

This is the most comprehensive and only course recognized by government, NGO, disaster relief organizations and agencies . . . and the academic community. Over a fourteen-year period of disaster response, the CDRS course is designed to present the core concepts of a comprehensive, systematic and multi-component canine crisis and trauma intervention curriculum combined with Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM). The one-day interactive course will: a) Distinguish the differences between traditional animal assisted activities, animal assisted therapy and canine disaster relief services; b) Demonstrate the immediacy of providing crisis intervention to victims of a disaster, when a canine is utilized as a “transitional object” by handlers trained in Critical Incident Stress Management; c) Identify how the canine provides “common ground” to establish a therapeutic alliance with victims who have experienced acute trauma and/or significant loss; d) Teach how to work with a canine individually or within a multi-disciplinary Integrated Care Team providing crisis intervention to victims of a critical incident; e) Present the protocol on how to incorporate the utilization of Canine Disaster Relief Services by individuals with, or without a canine, who are part of a multi-disciplinary Outreach Care Team.

 Course Curriculum


CDRS Course Certificate

1) Utilization of canines in disaster relief and critical incidents. 2) Canine behavior and the human-animal bond. 3) Canine ability to scent stress. 4) Canine as a “transitional object.” 5) Canine Disaster Relief Services used at the World Trade Center -“Ground Zero” – and other major disasters throughout the United States. 6) Handler and Volunteer Compassion Fatigue. 7) Vicarious Traumatization. 8) Family Assistance Centers and Shelters. 9) Partnering with disaster relief agencies. 10) Integrating Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) and Animal Assisted Activities (AAA) into Canine Disaster Relief Services. 11) Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM). 12) Integrated Care Teams. 13) Understanding Emergency Management. 14) Incident Command Structure. 15) Continuing Education and Courses. 16) Case Studies and Interventions. 17) Disaster Response and Deployment. 18) Credentialing and Security. 19) Interactive audio/visual and DVD video – from actual deployments. 20) Table-top discussions and role-play. Guest speakers from disaster relief agencies and emergency management. 

 Who should take the course?


Animal Assisted Therapy and Animal Assisted Activities Organizations; Veterinarians; Vet-Techs; SPCA; Humane Society; Search & Rescue Teams; CISM Teams; Disaster Response Personnel; Department of Homeland Security Personnel; FEMA; Office of Emergency Management; Law Enforcement; Fire-Fighters; American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health; Salvation Army Disaster Services; Crisis Workers; Psychologists; Counselors; Social Workers; Grief Counselors; Faith-based providers; Pastoral Care; Law-Enforcement; EMTs/Paramedics; nurses and healthcare professionals; Teachers; School Administration.


Who is the instructor?

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Frank T. Shane, B.C.E.T.S. He is a pioneer in the field of the utilization of handlers trained in Canine Disaster Relief Services. In 2001 he founded K-9 Disaster Relief, a non-profit humanitarian organization. He is a board certified trauma counselor and Diplomat and Fellow of the Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. Frank Shane teaches courses in Canine Disaster Relief Services, the Human-Animal-Bond and the Psychology and Behavior of Dogs. He is featured in the books: “9/11:Stories of Courage, Heroism and Generosity” and “Hero Dogs ~ Courage Canines in Action.” He recently appeared on Animal Planet’s documentary: “Hero Dogs of 9/11” In 2014 the documentary “Nikie – Hero of a Different Breed” was released.