Coos Bay, OR – April 5, 2023. Bay Area Hospital, First Responder Therapy Dogs (FRTD), and other local organizations –Furry Friends Therapy Dogs, Inc., Coos Bay Search and Rescue, and Medical Reserve Corps, are celebrating National Therapy Dog Appreciation Day on Tuesday, April 11. We’re asking for support of your favorite local therapy animal charity. We are welcoming BB, our new team member, an English Labrador Retriever, certified with First Responder Therapy Dogs. Bringing BB on board as our therapy dog, is just one of the offerings we have in place to further support our hospital staff. She was selected based on her temperament and began training at 8 weeks old to prepare for a job supporting patients and the providers of healthcare services.

On Tuesday, April 11th, 2023 from 1pm-3pm, at Bay Area Hospital, it’s a special opportunity for BAH employees and the public to meet BB, other dogs and their handlers, who provide therapeutic and lifesaving services in our community. Also onsite will be Campbell K9 University, who specialize in dog training to answer questions about programs available to the public. They offer options from basic obedience to advanced board and training programs.

First Responder therapy dogs are trained and certified to positively impact mental health issues experienced by first responders.  These therapy dogs provide emotional support by spending time with first responders. Visits made to first responders by therapy dogs reduce stress, anxiety, and blood pressure and elevate moods and productivity. See what first responders are saying about their visits with therapy dogs.  Now, first responders in 23 states benefit from visits from therapy dogs. In Coos Bay, one of these talented canines work to provide this support to Bay Area Hospital employees.

Programs Offered by First Responder Therapy Dogs

  1. Visiting emergency rooms, fire stations, dispatchers’ offices, police departments, and administrative staff offices. During pre-scheduled 1 to 2-hour visits, therapy dog teams spend time with the personnel on shift.
  2. Following a challenging call, a defusing session with the staff involved typically occurs. A therapy dog joins to assist attendees in addressing their emotional responses to what they experienced during a high-stress incident.
  3. Wildland fire basecamp visits are available in Arizona, California, Colorado, and Oregon. First Responder Therapy Dogs coordinates directly with Cal Fire and the United States Forest Service to make scheduled visits to established basecamps. Therapy dog visits typically occur when the first responders are between shifts or heading back to the fire line.

Therapy Dog Teams in 23 States and Growing

First Responder Therapy Dogs has grown from 1 therapy dog team in the fall of 2020 to 106 certified therapy dog teams in 23 states. Our therapy dog teams are available for service in Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan,  Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, and Washington.

For More Information/Interviews

Heidi Carman, ED,, 415-250-1807 Instagram: @firstrepondertherapydogs  First Responder Therapy Dogs INC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Tax ID #88-1386472.

Dog Therapy Appreciation Day is celebrated on April 11 every year to appreciate the dogs who comfort us by being therapy dogs. Learn the History of National Therapy Dog Appreciation Day.