Firefighters battling California wildfires visited by Kerith the therapy dog

October 29, 2020

Battling wildfires can take an emotional and physical toll on firefighters, but a two-year-old golden retriever has come to rescue, relieving stress and providing comfort to firefighters on the front lines.

Kerith is a certified crisis response therapy animal through a nonprofit organization, Pet Partners. Kerith and her handler, Heidi Carman, started volunteering at MarinHealth Emergency and Trauma department to visit patients and staff members.

“Kerith would help people feel calm and relaxed in stressful situations,” said Carman. “Kerith has been helpful to so many people.”

Through Marin Health, Kerith became friends with local firefighter paramedics and started visiting fire departments before the coronavirus shutdown.

In mid-August a rare lightning storm struck the Bay Area causing a number of fires. Since then, Kerith has been visiting many fire base camps to provide comfort to firefighters.

“It was an extremely busy period during this fire season,” said Carman. “After I saw how helpful Kerith was at the Woodward Fire base camp, I was really happy to visit the crews that were fighting the fires.”

“She was out there every single day at our base camp,” said Bret McTigue, Battalion Chief for Marin County Fire. “When men and women have the opportunity to see a friendly face, like Kerith, it connects them. No matter what is going on in their lives, and the trauma that they are seeing on a daily basis. They are able to de-stress.”

After visiting the first fire base camp, CAL FIRE requested Kerith to visit more firefighters to boost the morale at the base camp.

Kerith has visited the Woodward Fire, the Glass Fire, the Creek Fire, and August Complex fires.

“We had crews from all over the country that have been gone from their families for weeks, months,” said McTigue. “So, she has been up and down the state helping firefighters that have been away from their families for a real long time. She is definitely made for what she does and she does a great job of being a good therapy dog for the public safety sector.”

Kerith and her handler have been inseparable since Kerith was eight-weeks-old and is happy to take Kerith wherever she is needed the most.

“The fact that I have this amazing dog who can bring so much joy to others is just priceless,” said Carman. “I can see how happy that she makes other people and I feel that happiness also. I am so happy that I am able to do this work with her and see how helpful it is.”

  • Most Recent News

    Students Get Therapy Dog

    January 8, 2021

    When middle school students return to class on Jan. 11, they’ll find a new face at the door: Daisy. Daisy is a therapy dog and the personal pet of Rob Kreger, principal of the Rock L. Butler Middle School. The five-year-old golden retriever is not a school pet or mascot, but rather a working dog […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogtor

    January 8, 2021

    Last March, Caroline Benzel, a third-year medical student, began to notice the stress and discomfort her nurse friends were feeling from the pressures of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “[Personal protective equipment] can be really rough on the skin,” Benzel, 31, tells PEOPLE. Benzel and her 3-year-old Rottweiler, Loki (who’s also a therapy dog) hatched a […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Pups

    January 8, 2021

    When Stanley the miniature fox terrier’s owner passed away, the little dog started a ‘paw-some’ new role – bringing puppy love to some of the Gold Coast’s oldest residents. After Carinity Cedarbrook Diversional Therapist Julianne Staff adopted Stanley, he began visiting the aged care community at Mudgeeraba as a therapy dog. Therapy dogs help to […]

    Read more

    Puppy Cams

    January 7, 2021

    A nonprofit is providing an unusual form of therapy for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic – puppy cams! “You spend five minutes with a puppy and try not to smile,” said registered nurse Robin Lingg Lagrone. Lingg Lagrone says watching little furballs wag their tails and prance on their paws helps […]

    Read more

    Pet Committee

    January 7, 2021

    When Moore County’s school doors were abruptly closed earlier in 2020, two- and four-legged volunteers from the Moore County Citizens’ Pet Responsibility Committee (PRC) were in their 12th year of presenting a six-session Pet Responsibility Education Program for fourth-graders. The PRC quickly shifted gears and placed its program materials online as part of a home […]

    Read more

    The Right Rescue Dog

    January 7, 2021

    If your New Year’s resolution is to add a canine family member, good for you. Somewhere out there is the perfect puppy or adult dog for your family. You have a lot of things to think about when you begin to look for that new family member, puppy or dog? Large or small? Purebred or […]

    Read more

    Police Dog Attack

    January 7, 2021

    A resolution headed to the Duluth City Council on Monday could put to rest a lawsuit filed by Teri Lynn Ehlers, an employee of the Patch Motel, who was bitten by a Duluth police dog named Oakley. Former Duluth Police Officer Marc Johnson was a registered guest of the Warroad establishment May 28, 2018, when […]

    Read more

    PAWS With A Cause

    January 7, 2021

    Pebble Hill Plantation and the Thomas County Public Library are pleased to announce the upcoming Enlightening Bites program, “PAWS With a Cause,” on Friday, January 8, 2021 at noon in the Flipper Room of the Library. The program is being presented by Jeri Anderson, field representative. Anderson is recently retired from the City of Monticello, […]

    Read more

    Police Canine Team

    January 7, 2021

    Kingston Police revealed in a news release late Wednesday afternoon that they’ve been keeping a four-legged secret for roughly three months. The force announced it added a second canine unit, with the arrival of police service dog Dak this past October. He is working with Const. Jeff Dickson, while police service dog Bask is working […]

    Read more

    K9s For Warriors

    January 7, 2021

    K9s For Warriors, a nonprofit organization that provides military veterans suffering from severe PTSD, traumatic brain injury and military sexual trauma with service animals, recently changed the name of its main campus to honor its leader and founder Shari Duval. Duval began K9s For Warriors in 2011 after her son returned from two tours in […]

    Read more

    More Recent News