Courage Service Dogs
Emergency Responder Station Dogs
Courage Service Dogs is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2013 by Lisa Burkett. Our mission is to enhance the mental well-being of the first responders who ensure the safety and security of our communities. Police officers and firefighters are regularly exposed to stressful situations during their daily routine. These experiences can lead to depression and anxiety. Under certain conditions, these symptoms can result in the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Without intervention, mental health issues can escalate and become challenging to treat. Our organization is focused on managing these symptoms as they surface in order to hinder the decline in mental fitness over the years.
Courage Service Dogs has created a unique program to achieve our goals. Our dogs use their specialized training to help first responders manage job-related stress. Our canines carry out their duties at nearby police and fire stations on a weekly basis, where they spend their day on active duty. They use their innate intuition to pinpoint those who may benefit from extra attention during their workday. This could be a quick game of fetch down the hall, a walk outside or a welfare visit to an individual office. The lasting power of a nuzzle or paw on the leg to ease stress is remarkable.
Courage Service Dogs has had an ongoing partnership with local fire and police departments since 2013. We are pleased to be transitioning from our clinical model to our station dog program. In addition to providing station visits, our organization is developing a program for full-time station therapy dogs. This objective will involve working with police and fire stations to achieve their goal of having a dog available around the clock. We also concentrate on informing people about the mental strain that first responders experience.