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Therapy dog team who responded to Waldo Canyon Fire reflect a decade later

11 News this Morning at 6 am
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 7:52 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Thursday marks 10 years since the Waldo Canyon Fire exploded west of Colorado Springs.

11 News checked in with the Go Team Therapy, Crisis and Airport Dogs, which began its organization during the Waldo Canyon Fire in June 2012. The team started with just two dogs and two handlers.

“We went out there working with people that lost their homes and also people that were just going out to the hotels and everything getting out of the area,” said founder Nancy Trepagnier.

The wildfire would claim two lives, destroy 347 homes, force tens of thousands to evacuate, and accrue $453.7 million in insurance costs before it was contained 17 days later. It remains one of the most destructive wildfires in Colorado history.

“I remember Waldo Canyon like it was yesterday. Nobody was expecting that. I remember going down to Garden of the Gods and just kind of looking at it, and the next thing you know, a couple days later, it jumped the lines,” said Trepagnier.

Now, Go Team has over 600 active teams across the United States, who provide comfort and distraction to victims of tragedies including mass shootings, natural disasters and more.

“It’s a really good feeling. We started from something that was so bad. Just to watch it, watch all the people that have come through, it’s a really good feeling to watch us grow as much as we have,” said Trepagnier.

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