Spokane County Fire District 8 is honored and proud to introduce our new therapy dog, Pierce, to our community. Pierce’s handler and owner is SCFD 8’s own Chaplain Aaron McNally. Chaplain McNally is training Pierce to become a first responder therapy dog. When asked why he wanted to incorporate a therapy dog program into the chaplain program at SCFD8 Chaplain NcNally said:
“In 2017, two of my children experienced a traumatic incident. In the following weeks as they returned to school a therapy dog was present to provide comfort and emotional support. The Therapy K9 Handler shared how successful the dogs are providing comfort and emotional support to those who have experienced traumatic events. As I walked away from that conversation I thought this would be a great opportunity for first responders. So, over the last four years and doing extensive research, I found an agency called First Responder Therapy Dogs, located in Santa Rosa, California. As I continued the research I made an inquiry with a local dog breeder. The breeder, after hearing about my research for a therapy dog, made a generous donation to this program by donating Pierce. Pierce was born in July of 2021 and we acquired him in August. Pierce is a second generation miniature golden-doodle.
In October, the Therapy Dog program was presented, approved and funded by SCFD8. Pierce started training in December for basic obedience as well as therapy. He is on track to complete training in the Spring of 2022 and start two certifications in July.
The goal is to have Pierce certified with First Responder Therapy Dogs and in service by August. He will be available and accompany me as I visit firefighters and respond to chaplain calls.”
We wish Aaron and Pierce good luck with their training and looking forward to the day Pierce is out in the field helping first responders through difficult situations or events.