Our Mission & Message
We are so proud of our Paws for Responders Comfort K9s. Check out the topics below to learn more about how these therapy dogs are impacting the world!
Start with a Puppy
Start with a Puppy
January 13th, 2021
"Changing the world 🌎 one puppy at a time" - this is our unofficial motto at Paws for Responders because we truly believe that our puppies can make that big of a difference.
We are incredibly picky about the puppies who enter the Comfort K9 Program. We work with breeders who have years of experience breeding dogs with amazing temperaments for therapy dog work, and we pick out the individual puppies who will make the best candidates for the job.
We then start these puppies in a catered training program, designed to build their confidence and increase their social skills. Our certified puppy raisers are invested in watching these adorable furballs mature into successful working dogs, and they dedicate hundreds of hours to watching that dream come true.
And finally, our puppies are matched with handlers who are emergency responders themselves, and work in the facility where the Comfort K9s will be used daily. From Chaplain to Chief, facility handlers can be anyone who can utilize these dogs to enhance the emotional wellness within their departments.
Stay tuned to learn more about the Paws for Responders Comfort K9 Program, and how these puppies will change the world! 🐾
January 16th, 2021
Puppies bring joy. Puppies bring warmth. Puppies bring smiles. Puppies bring giggles. Puppies bring puppy breath and puppy bellies 😁
Ready for Paws for Responders to bring you a puppy?!
Bringing our puppies-in-training into responder agencies, not only benefits the responders, but also the puppies! These pups get to learn all about department life and meet the men and women in uniform. This helps with their socialization training and prepares them for their future jobs.
Once each puppy is assigned to a facility, then they begin visiting on a regular basis and practicing their work tasks with their Facility Handler. It takes a lot of work to raise the perfect therapy dog, but starting at a young age and catering the training to meet the needs of each puppy and each facility, makes the entire program more successful and special.
By visiting frequently as they mature, the puppy builds bonds with their responder team, the agency is able to shape the puppy to fit their program, and the community becomes invested in seeing these adorable department assets grow up right before their eyes.
Want to meet one of our pups?! Schedule a visit from a Paws for Responders Comfort K9-in-Training!
January 20th, 2021
To quote the talented Amanda Gorman,
"For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it.”
Paws for Responders came to be because we saw a need to bring empathy, compassion, and emotional healing to our emergency responder agencies, so that we could bridge the divides among our communities.
Through the use of our Comfort K9s, we want "to compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man" (Amanda Gorman).
Through the use of our Comfort K9s, we want to bring people together and provide a source of love and companionship.
Through the use of Comfort K9s, we want to heal, strengthen, and build connections.
We have big plans for our Comfort K9s, and we hope that responder agencies throughout the country will join us in changing the world, one puppy at a time 🐾
Learn Training Skills
Learn Training Skills
January 22nd, 2021
#PawsForResponders Founder, Kelsey Weber, is a triple certified dog trainer with memberships with multiple national & international organizations focused on using updated, scientifically proven training methods, and over 15 years of professional training experience.
✅ When you start working with a Paws for Responders #ComfortK9 , you will receive a comprehensive, easy-to-follow, effective, and efficient training program, that's enjoyable for both the humans and the dog.
⭐ Our Puppy Raisers start learning training skills right away so they're prepared when the new puppy arrives on their doorstep. They attend weekly meetings while they are raising the puppy and practice daily skills to help these puppies become successful working dogs.
⭐ Our Facility Handlers have lifetime access to an interactive online training platform, complete with videos, demonstrations, instruction, written handouts, and even a Comfort K9 Manual that they can refer back to, as needed, throughout the Comfort K9s career.
➕ Additionally, Kelsey directly oversees the entire training program of each Comfort K9 puppy and meets regularly for in-person training sessions to help cater the program to each Facility's individual needs.
👉 Want to hear the best part?!
🔹 Not only do you receive this robust, detailed, results-driven dog training program, but you also will learn how to utilize the dog to make the most impact within your department.
🔹 Not only will you learn how to effectively communicate and understand your new Comfort K9 partner, but you will also learn how to bring empathy into your workplace.
🔹 Not only will you have cutting edge behavior modification knowledge to help your Comfort K9 puppy be successful, but you will also be able to apply your skillset towards successful interactions with colleagues, friends, and family members.
👉 This is more than just a really fun dog training program - this is an opportunity to build connection, trust, knowledge, support, engagement, and compassion in our communities, in our responder agencies, and in our lives.
Join our program today - there is no reason to put off making a positive impact on the world.
Strengthen the Team
Strengthen the Team
January 25th, 2021
One of the biggest changes we notice right away when an agency adds a Comfort K9 to their team, is that the team starts talking!
Everyone likes to see the puppy, everyone wants to get some puppy love, everyone wants to check in for pupdates, everyone wants to learn more about the program... Responders and staff from all over the agency begin reaching out to each other, chatting about the dog, and scheduling time to set up meet and greets with the new fluffy addition.
And this doesn't change! Even with dogs working in the department for years, people throughout the department still go out of their way to spend time with the Comfort K9.
Creating personal connection is hugely important in creating a successful team. If colleagues only discuss due dates and task completion, they will lack the bond that turns co-workers into a community. Having an emotional connection to the workplace and the team members within, prevents job turnover and burnout.
Keep your team happy. Keep your team strong. Keep your team thriving. Keep your team together.
Ready to add the team member that can help complete these goals?! Learn more about adding a Comfort K9 to your agency.
Share the Work
Share the Work
January 27th, 2021
Wondering how in the world to make time for a puppy in your life? 🐕 I get it - puppy parenting is a lot! And with the added pressures of today's working environment, the COVID fatigue, the emotional exhaustion from civil unrest and community division, it's hard to imagine piling on extra responsibilities... BUT YOU DON'T HAVE TO!
The unique aspect of the #PawsForResponders #ComfortK9 program, is that it's a "Shared Custody" setup. The facility has the puppy for scheduled, structured visits and the Puppy Raiser does ALL the heavy lifting 💪 (#SoThankful)
Our Puppy Raisers are #TheBest around! They are certified and employed by PFR and go through an extensive training program to learn how to help these puppies thrive in their future facility. They keep the puppy in their home for the first 12 months of the program (minus the facility visits) and teach the puppy necessary life skills, while also managing the potty training, puppy teething, and general puppy shenanigans.
They do all of this so that YOU can enjoy all of the perks of adding a Comfort K9 to your team without the headache! Enjoy the extra joy that comes from puppy love, enjoy the decompression snuggle sessions, enjoy the stress relief of puppy play time, enjoy the positive results every time the puppy visits, and leave the work to us!
Support the Staff
Support the Staff
February 2nd, 2021
⭐ Proactive vs Reactive ⭐
This is a topic that comes up in workplaces, across industries, at home, in relationships, in how people train their dogs, in how people raise their kids.
According to Merriam-Webster, proactive means "acting in anticipation of future problems, needs, or changes", whereas reactive is "a response to some treatment, situation, or stimulus". Spend just a moment identifying the proactive and reactive moments in your daily life.
Most of us are quite reactive. We have experiences throughout the day that make us anxious, angry, frustrated, panicked, stressed, and overwhelmed. On the front end, it's easier to be reactive - no prep or planning required. But the result is a huge amount of emotional effort and depletion.
What are little things you can do to be more proactive, more intentional, more purposeful, more planned?
Investing the time, effort, and thought upfront can save you exponential amounts of those same resources later. Setting yourself up to be successful - emotionality, physically, mentally, socially, financially, etc - can not only ensure your success but advance it. You can skip over the trauma, the heartache, the burnout, the exhaustion, and the failures, when you are proactive. And when your workplace is proactive, it can decrease turnover, interpersonal drama, compassion fatigue, and ultimately costs.
The #PawsForResponders #ComfortK9 program is a proactive program. These dogs are trained for the long haul of showing up everyday to bring love and joy to the workplace. Their handlers are taught to utilize the dogs to support the staff's emotional health and wellness on the "normal" days, not only during times of crisis.
Emergency responders experience trauma frequently. Eventually, most responders reach a point where they either take a desk job, take a leave from the industry, or take their own life. We can't just be reactive anymore. It's time we are proactive and support the people who dedicate their time, their jobs, and their lives to supporting their communities - to supporting us.
Cover the Cost
Cover the Cost
February 11th, 2021
When an agency signs up for a #PawsForResponders #ComfortK9, they aren't just getting a dog, they are starting a life changing, comprehensive program that will have positive impacts on their agency and their community for years to come.
👉 Includes a puppy, hand-picked by an experienced breeder and our certified trainer to be the best match for the agency.
👉 Covers ALL puppy expenses throughout the 2-yr program, including: food, vet care, toys, grooming tools, crate, training equipment, and more!
👉 Trains the puppy to be responsive in highly distracting environments, engage with new people politely, offer specific behaviors to help relieve stress in those they work with, and be a well-mannered member of the team.
👉 Teaches the handlers of the puppy how to use an ethical, humane, positive training approach, so they have the skillset to work with the dog through anything their careers may throw at them.
👉 Layers emotional wellness education throughout the process, helping handlers utilize these tools to enhance their relationships with the people, children, colleagues, and members of the community they interact with on a daily basis, as well as with themselves.
Additionally, adding to an agency's emotional wellness program can:
✔️ Prevent turnover, burnout, and compassion fatigue within the agency.
✔️ Create more unity, inclusion, and support among the responder team.
✔️ Relive daily stress and reduce symptoms of trauma in affected emergency responders.
✔️ Increase physical health of responders by decreasing blood pressure and lowering risk of heart disease, anxiety, depression, insomnia, alcohol abuse, and substance abuse.
✔️ Save taxpayer dollars!
It costs significantly less to invest in a Comfort K9 that has such a profound positive impact, than it does to replace members of the responder team. This program is designed with emergency responders in mind. Can you really afford not to add a Comfort K9 to your agency?
⭐For community members who would love to see a Comfort K9 in your local responder agency, consider sponsoring a dog. Any amount is appreciated and 100% of the funds go directly to covering the cost for the assigned agency.⭐