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Friday Focus - 1st Responder Canine

Dogs have always been known as “mans” best friend, they care, support and provide a comfort to us, as we do for them. 1st Responder Canine is dedicating their time to train puppies to become specialized service dogs to help first responders facing mobility and trauma related injuries regain independence. 1st Responders Canine will train the dogs for approximately 2 years before being placed with their first responder owner. We enjoyed meeting Roger E. Giese, Founder and CEO of 1st Responder Canine, with Grace, Chief, Moose (current training dogs) to learn more about this inspiring organization in this week’s Friday Focus.
Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.)
The 1st Responder Canine Mission will enlist the Human/Canine bond as a healing power for emotional and physical trauma.  1st Responder Canine will provide purpose bred services dogs to First Responders, that have faced life changing injuries caused by Post Traumatic Stress Disability (PTSD), Traumatic, Brain Injuries (TBI) and physical disabilities to and including quadriplegic job-related injuries.
First Responders and other volunteer Puppy Recruit Mentors, (PRM) will house and train purpose bred puppies for eighteen months to two years. Puppies will be trained to assist Police, Fire and Emergency Medical Service personnel that sustain life-changing injuries, while serving to protect The American Public.

Properly trained 1st Responder Canine Service Dogs will be placed based upon need, ability and human/canine compatibility at no cost to the receiving First Responder.
Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?
Our favorite moments will come when we place our well-trained service dogs whose unconditional love and skills will grant a renewed sense of independence to deserving first responder be they fire, police or emergency personnel.
Q: What is your biggest challenge?
Like any new nonprofit organization and as a first dedicated to providing qualified service dogs to our many first responders around the country creating awareness and funding is our biggest obstacle. Typically, it takes two years to one puppy to become service dog at a cost of $25,000-$30,000.
Q: Are there any upcoming events?
We are teaming up with Fairfax County First Responder for a two-day fair (date to be announced) at which families will get to meet a few of our puppies in training.  It is also our plan to demonstrate early command training and explain our overall mission.
Q: How can people get involved with your organization?
1st Responder Canine like many non-profits are very anxious to receive volunteers for the many aspects of building and maintaining training facility, performing many day-to-day task will provide a safe and friendly environment for not only our puppies but 1st Responder trainers, staff members, volunteers and visitors.  To this end we have created a website www.1strespondercanine.org that will enable all interested to find out more about our mission, puppies, how to volunteer, name puppies and donate their time training items, food, etc., as well as financial support.