Sign In

Hanford Fire Dept. Therapy Dogs

June 15, 2020

A pair of golden retrievers are the newest recruits at Hanford Fire Department. The two dogs are being trained as a hybrid of facility and therapy dogs for the department. Their names are Asher and Tiller.

“So, the ‘Tillerman’ is known as the guy on the back of the ladder truck, ladder trucks actually drive the back of it, so that’s kind of how that name was picked out and then as for Asher, you know obviously ash that makes a lot of sense, but also there’s kind of meaning behind it like blessed and happiness,” said Hanford City firefighter Matthew Martinez, who is also Asher’s handler.

The California Service Dog Academy donated the pups to the fire department and co-founder, Rebecca Corso says they’ll play a big part in reducing firefighters stress levels.

“Let’s just be honest and I think first responders are having a rougher year than a lot of people because of everything that they’re having to deal with and we just jumped on the chance, when they approached us, we were all over it,” said Corso.

Hanford City firefighter and Tiller’s handler, Connor Kurtz, spearheaded the idea of getting pups for the department two years ago after coming back from a twelve-hour shift.

“So, it’s kind of nice to come back to the station and the plan is these guys are gonna kind of help us kind of cope with the call you know maybe just help get our mind off of it and kind of help relax, reduce stress and anxiety,” said Kurtz.

The pups have been with Martinez and Kurtz since Friday and are still learning as they’re only about 9 weeks old.  They’ll face the special challenges posed by COVID-19 along with the crews.

“With COVID and all the protests going on, hopefully this will lighten the whole world up and kind of just get their mind off that and so far especially at home it’s helped me out.”

The Hanford Fire Department and the California Service Dog Academy hope this will be an ongoing program to help first responders and the community.

Register Your Dog

  • Most Recent News

    Big Dogs Need Owners

    When the shutdown orders took full effect, it became nearly impossible to find a small dog available for adoption as Southlanders sought furry companions. In many Southland shelters, only larger breeds remained available for adoption. Now Los Angeles Animal Service is touting the joys of big dogs while offering discounted adoption fees for larger breeds […]

    Read more

    Service Dog Walkathon

    On Saturday, October 3, hundreds of walkers from across 15 states joined the path to bettering the world for children with autism and their families as part of BluePath Service Dogs’ fourth annual walkathon. The family-friendly fundraiser – this year held virtually – raised more than $120,000 to further BluePath’s mission of providing autism service […]

    Read more

    Service Dog In The Marching Band

    In a year that is anything but normal, the Jones College Maroon Typhoon Marching Band has welcomed its first known service dog member this fall. Laurie, a 3-year-old golden retriever, is baritone saxophone player Sara-Beth McKellar’s service dog. The Vicksburg native was diagnosed with epilepsy as a sophomore in high school after her first seizure. […]

    Read more

    Church Blesses Animals

    St. Mary’s Church of the Immaculate Conception in Port Jervis hosted a special outdoor service last Sunday afternoon to bless the community’s pets, animals and other living creatures. In keeping with current pandemic rules, pet owners wore masks, remained distant, and took part in praying for dogs, cats, turtles, and other pets and animals around […]

    Read more

    Police Welcome New Canine

    After the unexpected passing of longtime Police Service Dog Zeus earlier this week, Kingston Police are welcoming a new member to the Canine Unit. Police Service Dog Bask, also known as K9-8, is a Dutch Shepherd and Belgium Malinois mix, and will be patrolling the streets of Kingston with his handler Constable Jeff Dickson. Bask […]

    Read more

    Dog Park For Travelers

    St. Petersburg is widely recognized as a dog-friendly city, and St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport is making sure its four-legged visitors and their humans feel welcome by rolling out the artificial turf carpet. With the completion of the airport’s parking and roadway project – part of a series of multi-million dollar improvements at the airport over the […]

    Read more