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Elevate Branson’s new therapy dog comforts families in need

Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 5:23 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 18, 2021 at 5:37 PM CST
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BRANSON, Mo. (KY3) - An organization that gives people a hand up is now offering a paw up. Elevate Branson now has a new therapy dog, Theo, that is helping people in need.

Five-year-old Willow is one of Theo’s favorite people. She comes to Elevate Branson multiple times a week. Her parents say Theo helps cheer up their daughter and other kids like her.

“He is very great with the kids and if he sees a little one coming to him he totally changes his demeanor and become the gentle giant that they call him,” Yvette Stewart said.

Theo is not only at Elevate Branson to help the kids, but to assist anyone who walks through the doors.

“You come to Elevate and they get your mind off your problems. You get to think about something else for a few hours. They’re family. They’re all family here, Stewart said.

Elevate Branson’s Kids Director Cathy Brown says people in uncertain living situations like weekly stay motels or unemployment during the off-season often struggle with anxiety and depression.

”Just seeing bodies and tempers walk in to this building, and whether it’s kids or adults, really stressed when they walk in. Then, ten or fifteen minutes with Theo and you can just see bodies relax,” Brown said.

Theo is not the only resource Elevate Branson provides to people during tough times.

“Just stimulus check to no stimulus check to Medicaid to no Medicaid, you know what I’m saying, from no social security and then the gals help them to get social security. A lot of our guys need to come in for counseling,” Brown said.

“These people have the biggest helping hand you will ever meet,” Stewart said.

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