Department Dogs

our stress control dogs

Department Dogs for FirstB Responders

Unlike service dogs that work with one person, professionally trained facility dogs work with a handler to serve multiple people who need social interaction, recovery motivation, comfort and/or a feeling of safety.  Our specially-trained Department Dogs are loving and affectionate and offer first responders an opportunity to connect in a healthy and safe way.

A Department Dog is a dog trained for general obedience, but also for behaviors specific to the needs of the organization. A Department Dog might for instance: Get on a person’s lap to help the person calm down. This could be very useful in a rehabilitation center or a firehouse where first responders sometimes need a way to recover when coming back from a traumatic situation.

This non-ADA-accessible dog is trained to provide comfort and support for first response teams at their facility. However, these dogs can work inside a particular facility when the administration of the facility has approved the presence of the dog.

What Is A Facility Service Dog For First Responders?

First Responders work 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. These firefighters, paramedics, EMS, dispatchers, law enforcement officers, call center staff, and search and rescue teams answer the call to help and protect.  We want to thank you for the work you do on a daily basis and we want to help you, if you have Post Traumatic Stress get back on your feet again.

Facility Dogs are similar to Therapy Dogs. But unlike Therapy Dogs, who only work occasionally as they are taken a few hours at a time to a hospital or other institution, Facility Dogs generally “work” full-time at the facility. They also require special training to fit the needs of that institution. Like Therapy Dogs, Facility Dogs must be highly social and enjoy working with a variety of people.

Understanding How A Facility Dog Could Help

An estimated 30 percent of first responders develop depression, stress, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health consequences.

A white paper commissioned by the Ruderman Foundation has revealed that first responders (policemen and firefighters) are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty. In 2017, there were at least 103 firefighter suicides and 140 police officer suicides. In contrast, 93 firefighters and 129 police officers died in the line of duty. Suicide is a result of mental illness, including depression and PTSD, which stems from constant exposure to death and destruction.


We provide highly-trained Service Dogs to first-responders and veterans suffering from PTSD.


Help us provide life-changing Service Dogs to those who honorably served our country.


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Ridgeside K9 Foundation’s process helps to ensure a successful and lasting partnership by truly understanding the dog and our client’s specific needs. We work closely with the pair once the match is made.