Heard on the Hill

Therapy dogs provide paws to impeachment hearing stress

Capitol Hill wasn’t entirely miserable on Wednesday

Heard on the Hill correspondent Kathryn Lyons with therapy dogs Zamboni and Spumoni, who were on Capitol Hill on Wednesday for an event run by Pet Partners and the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council to help provide staffers stress relief. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

First high-tension impeachment hearings in a generation got you stressed? Then take a little, ahem, “paws” from the proceedings and allow therapy dogs Lola, Zamboni and Spumoni to soothe some of those, um, “ruff” feelings.

The pups came to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, courtesy of Pet Partners and the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, to spread some positive vibes among the two-leggers, and timing of their appearance couldn’t have been more opportune as the House Intelligence Committee began its first public hearing on the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. 

“This was a happy accident, to be honest,” PIJAC President Mike Bober told HOH. “We had scheduled this event months in advance.”

So even as the Longworth Building hallway outside the Ways and Means Committee room swarmed with reporters, TV cameras, Capitol Hill police, staff, interns and spectators, one could walk over to the Rayburn Building for a pet therapy reprieve from the chaos. 

“I’m obsessed with therapy dogs. I think they’re amazing. They really helped me just calm down, and not feel as stressed today,” said Brittney Taylor, a congressional fellow in the office of Illinois Democratic Rep. Danny K. Davis.

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 13: Chihuahua therapy dogs Lola visits Capitol Hill as part of an event run by Pet Partners, a therapy animal organization, and the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council to help provide staffers stress relief on Wednesday Nov. 13, 2019. (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)
Chihuahua therapy dog Lola visits with staffers on Wednesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

“It’s always nice to think about something else during the work day for a little bit,” Daria Berstell, a staffer on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, told HOH. 

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