Gwinnett County LCSW receives National Certification

Gwinnett County LCSW receives National CertificationChristy Simpson, LCSW, at Gwinnett County Detention Center recently obtained National Certification by the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement as a Pet Loss and Bereavement Counselor. In doing so, she became the only person in the state of Georgia to be certified as a specialist in this area and was recently interviewed by CNN.com about the subject.

Christy’s achievement can be particularly useful in her work as a patient therapist at Gwinnett County where the Sheriff runs “Operation Second Chance,” a dog rescue program. The program works with dogs slated for euthanasia but are brought to the jail where select inmates work with community volunteers to train the dogs for adoption. Christy’s specialty enables her to work with the inmates to transition through the bereavement associated with the loss of an assigned animal once they have found their permanent home. Several inmates have even stated that the connections built with the animals during this program are the deepest they’ve established in their lives, so the loss of the animals can be devastating without the support.

Featured in the photo with Christy is Picaso, a recently adopted dog from the Operation Second Chance program. Picaso won the AKC Canine Good Citizen Award, was featured in a commercial for dog biscuits and will be starring in the season premiere episode of Pitbulls and Parolees on Animal Planet (which was filmed at the Gwinnett County Detention Center).

To check out Christy’s CNN interview visit http://www.cnn.com/2011/08/26/living/handle-losing-pet-mnn/index.html?

You can also visit www.jaildogs.org to see a list and videos of the precious pups currently available for adoption through Operation Second Chance.